Pictures from our Epiphany blessing Friday, Jan 16 2009 

Lighting the incense

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Smell the incense. Yum!

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Blessing of our prayer room

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Blessing the Master Bedroom

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Blessing the almost finished basement

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Epiphany House Blessing Tuesday, Jan 6 2009 

This blessing of the home and inscription of the initials of the three Magi above each door can be performed either by a priest or the father of the family.

The feast of manifestation, or Epiphany, is traditionally celebrated the 12th day after Christmas, January 6th.-Catholic Culture

We will be having our house blessing after our priest returns from his vacation. He did our house blessing last year and then we had a great party with lots of food and drinks. I can't wait to do it again!

Blessing of Chalk

V. Our help is the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.

Let us pray.

Bless, O Lord God, this creature chalk
to render it helpful to your people.
Grant that they who use it in faith
and with it inscribe upon the doors of their homes
the names of your saints, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar,
may through their merits and intercession
enjoy health of body and protection of soul.
Through Christ our Lord.

And the chalk is sprinkled with Holy Water.

Epiphany House Blessing

All make the Sign of the Cross.

Head of Household: “Peace be to this house and: to all who dwell here, in the name of the Lord.

All: Blessed be God forever.

Reader: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be….. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-3.14)

Using chalk, write on the outside of your house, above or next to an entrance:

(write the first half of the current year)
+20
Christus
Mansionem
Benedicat
09+
(write the other half of the year)

Looks like this:

+20CMB09+

These words mean. “May Christ bless this house”. (Each word could be written by a different member of the household.)

Or optionally you may use the names of the Magi

(write the first half of the current year)
+20
Caspar
Melchior
Balthazar
09+
(write the other half of the year)

(Each name could be written by a different member of the household.)

All: Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this house and all who inhabit it. May we be blessed with health, goodness of heart, gentleness and the keeping of your law. Fill us with the light of Christ, that our love for each other may go out to all. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord- Dia de Los Reyes Tuesday, Jan 6 2009 

IMG_1198 January 6th is the Traditional Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord. I look forward to this great feast day every year. Since I grew up in Puerto Rico and have wonderful memories of this holiday, I decided to continue the tradition of having the 3 Wise Men bring our children gifts, just as they brought the Child Jesus gifts 12 days after Christmas. The kids gather grass or hay and a bowl of water for the camels and put them under the tree, although we used to put the grass in boxes under our beds. In the morning of January 6th, they wake up to find gifts for each of them. Last year they got a huge basket of fruit- mangoes, peaches, pears, tangerines, apples, pineapples and oranges. They also got a hot cocoa machine and a box of hot cocoa for each child. In Puerto Rico, the big gifts are given today, instead of on Christmas morning. I can imagine the excitement the children are feeling right now as they wake up to find gifts under their beds. My family will be having a huge celebration today. I would love to leave the big gifts for today, but since this is not a holiday here, my husband usually works on this day, so he wouldn't be here to celebrate with us.

Here are the little kids this morning after seeing all the goodies they received for the 3 Wise Men. This year they got more than fruit. They also got a gigantic bucket of cheese balls, a box of theire favorite dry cereal for each of them, a bag of candy, toothbrushes, snack bags, ho-hos, hot chocolate syrup and Bernie and I got a package of coffee beans and a bottle of vanilla syrup 🙂

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Litany of the Most Blessed Sacrament Monday, Jan 5 2009 

(to be prayed on the 12th day of Christmas)

Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. R. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, R. have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, R. have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, R. have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, R. have mercy on us.

Jesus, Eternal High Priest of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Divine Victim on the Altar for our salvation, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, hidden under the appearance of bread, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, dwelling in the tabernacles of the world, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, really, truly and substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, abiding in Your fulness, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Bread of Life, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Bread of Angels, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, with us always until the end of the world, R. have mercy on us.

Sacred Host, summit and source of all worship and Christian life, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, sign and cause of the unity of the Church, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, adored by countless angels, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, spiritual food, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, Sacrament of love, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, bond of charity, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, greatest aid to holiness, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, gift and glory of the priesthood, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which we partake of Christ, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which the soul is filled with grace, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which we are given a pledge of future glory, R. have mercy on us.

Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

For those who do not believe in Your Eucharistic presence, R. have mercy, O Lord.
For those who are indifferent to the Sacrament of Your love, R. have mercy on us.
For those who have offended You in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, R. have mercy on us.

That we may show fitting reverence when entering Your holy temple, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may make suitable preparation before approaching the Altar, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may receive You frequently in Holy Communion with real devotion and true humility, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may never neglect to thank You for so wonderful a blessing, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may cherish time spent in silent prayer before You, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may grow in knowledge of this Sacrament of sacraments, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That all priests may have a profound love of the Holy Eucharist, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That they may celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in accordance with its sublime dignity, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may be comforted and sanctified with Holy Viaticum at the hour of our death, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may see You one day face to face in Heaven, R. we beseech You, hear us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, R. spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, R. graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, R. have mercy on us, O Lord.

V. O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine,
R. all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine.

Let us pray,

Most merciful Father,
You continue to draw us to Yourself
through the Eucharistic Mystery.
Grant us fervent faith in this Sacrament of love,
in which Christ the Lord Himself is contained, offered and received.
We make this prayer through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Feast of the Holy Family Sunday, Dec 28 2008 

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Celebrate this feast with great recipes from Catholic Cuisine

Prayer to the Holy Family

O most loving Jesus, Who by Thy sublime and beautiful virtues of humility, obedience, poverty, modesty, charity, patience and gentleness, and by the example of Thy domestic life, didst bless with peace and happiness the family Thou didst choose on earth, in Thy clemency look down upon this household, humbly prostrate before Thee and imploring Thy mercy. Remember that this family belongs to Thee; for to Thee we have in a special way dedicated and devoted ourselves. Look upon us in Thy loving kindness; preserve us from danger; give us help in time of need, and grant us the grace to persevere to the end in the imitation of Thy Holy Family; that having revered Thee and loved Thee faithfully on earth, we may bless and praise Thee eternally in heaven.

O Mary, most sweet Mother, to thy intercession we have recourse, knowing that thy Divine Son will hear thy prayers.

And do thou, O glorious Patriarch, St. Joseph, assist us by thy powerful mediation, and offer, by the hands of Mary, our prayers to Jesus. Amen.

Consecration to the Holy Family

O Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, Who having come to enlighten the world, with Your teaching and example, willed to pass the greater part of Your life in humility and subjection to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the Family that was to be an example for all Christian families, graciously receive our family as it dedicates and consecrates itself to You this day. Defend us, guard us and establish among us Your holy fear, true peace and concord in Christian love: in order that by conforming ourselves to the divine pattern of Your Family we may be able, all of us without exception, to attain to eternal happiness.

Mary, dear Mother of Jesus and Mother of us, by your kind intercession make this our humble offering acceptable in the sight of Jesus, and obtain for us His graces and blessings.

Saint Joseph, most holy Guardian of Jesus and Mary, assist us by your prayers in all our spiritual and temporal necessities; that we may be able to praise our divine Savior Jesus, together with Mary and you, for all eternity.

Our Father, Hail Mary and Gloria three times.

Blessing of Children

This blessing comes from the older Roman Ritual or Collectio Rituum from 1954.

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord. R. Who made heaven and earth.

V. Our God is full of mercy. R. The Lord has care for little ones.

V. O Lord hear my prayer. R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

V. The Lord be with you. R. And with your spirit.

Prayer

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, Who, begotten in eternity, yet didst will to he born in time; Who dost love the innocence of childhood, and didst lovingly embrace and bless the little children who were brought to Thee: anticipate the needs of this child (these children) with Thy tender blessings, and grant that no evil may corrupt his (her, their) mind, but that advancing in age, in wisdom, and in grace, he (she, they) may live so as to please Thee always. Thou Who dost live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

R. Amen.

Then the priest sprinkles the child (children) with holy water, saying:

May the peace and the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son + and Holy Spirit, descend upon you and remain forever.

R. Amen.

12 Days of Christmas gifts Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

Here is something we started doing 2 years ago. We give the kids small presents until the Feast of the Epiphany. The kids really enjoyed doing this. I couldn't think of a food gift for each day, we improvised. A lot of these can be given in a gift bag every day.

ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you…a partridge in a pear tree. Sorry, but we can't find the partridge, so we are givng you some pears from the tree the partridge flew away from. (Give them a basket of pears, or maybe a can of pears per child.)

ON THE SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you…two turtle doves…but dont' have any…will candy turtles do? ( A pack of candy turtles for each child.)

ON THE THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you…three French hens…well, we don't have any French hens, so we're giving you some chicken noodle soup, compliments of the three French hens. (Make some Cornish hens dinner, or give them 1 can of their favorite chicken noodle soup.)

ON THE FOURTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you…four calling birds…we can't find those calling birds though because they flew off! (Make some chicken wings for dinner.)

ON THE FIFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you…five golden rings, but sorry, we're too poor for golden rings, but will some golden pineapple rings do? (a fresh pineapple, or 5 cans of pineapple rings.)

ON THE SIXTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you…six geese a laying, but we know you don't really want the mess of six geese all over your house, do you? How about some eggs that they left behind! (Make deviled eggs as an appetizer today, or give them silly putty, which comes in a plastic egg.)

ON THE SEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you…seven swans a swimming! OK, we looked for the swans, but couldn't find them, but we did find some bubble bath they used while they were swimming! (Some bottles of bubble bath.)

ON THE EIGHTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you…eight maids a-milking. Here is some milk we got from the eight maids — we think they must have been milking some brown cows! (Make some hot chocolate, or give them their own pack of hot cocoa.)

ON THE NINTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you…nine ladies dancing…Here are some pop rocks that are sure to dance in your mouth (a packet of pop rocks for each child.)

ON THE TENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS: your true love gave to you…ten lords-a-leapin' – here are some jacks, the ball will be jumping instead of leapin' (Give the kids a pack of jacks.)

ON THE ELEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you…eleven pipers piping, so here is a pipe of your own, have fun with it! (A bubble pipe and bubble solution.)

ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, your true love gave to you…twelve drummers drumming, but we figured twelve drummers drumming would take up way too much room, so we drummed up some cookies for you…hope they keep this from being just another hum-"drum" day for you! (Give them a plate of cookies.)

Christmas Novena: Dec. 16th- Dec 24th Tuesday, Dec 16 2008 

Posadas

December 16:
O Shepherd that rulest Israel, Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep, come to guide and comfort us.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 17:
O Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 18:
O Adonai, and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who didst appear unto Moses in the burning bush, and gavest him the law in Sinai, come to redeem us with an outstretched arm!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 19:
O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, at Whom the kings shall shut their mouths, Whom the Gentiles shall seek, come to deliver us, do not tarry.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 20:
O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth, come to liberate the prisoner from the prison, and them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 21:
O Dayspring, Brightness of the everlasting light, Son of justice, come to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 22:
O King of the Gentiles, yea, and desire thereof! O Corner-stone, that makest of two one, come to save man, whom Thou hast made out of the dust of the earth!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 23:
O Emmanuel, our King and our Law-giver, Longing of the Gentiles, yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God!

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

December 24:
O Thou that sittest upon the cherubim, God of hosts, come, show Thy face, and we shall be saved.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory be.

Saint Andrew Christmas Novena Sunday, Nov 30 2008 

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

(It is piously believed that whoever recites the above prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew (30th November) until Christmas will obtain what is asked.)

Imprimatur
+MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York
New York, February 6, 1897

This prayer is often called the "Christmas Novena" because it is prayed from the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle (November 30) until Christmas. The first Sunday of Advent is the Sunday closest to the Feast of Saint Andrew. You can say the prayer all 15 times, all at once; or divide up the recitation as necessary (perhaps five times at each meal). This novena is posted on the left side of my sidebar.

Countdown to Christmas with picture books Tuesday, Nov 25 2008 

Books
This year I'm using Cheryl's idea to count down the Advent days until Christmas. There are 25 days in Advent this year, so instead of purchasing an Advent calendar, I'm the girls are wrapping up 25 Christmas books in purple wrap to read to the kids every day. I have been collecting a lot of these books through the years and this year I got a few from our library, most of which, Cay Gibson has in her Christmas Mosaic, An Illustrated Book Study for Advent and Christmas. The kids will take turns picking out a book and unwrapping it and as the pile of books goes down, Christmas will get closer. I have marked a few books to be read on appropriate days, otherwise, the kids will randomly pick the book of the day. Here is a list of the 25 books we will be reading starting on the first Sunday of Advent:

The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale  - December 6th, feast of St. Nicholas

Saint Nicholas – December 6th, feast of St. Nicholas

The Lady of Guadalupe  - December 12th, feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Legend of the Poinsettia  December 19th, the 3rd O Antiphon "Radix Jesse"

The Night of Las Posadas  - December 24th, Christmas Eve

These books are featured in Christmas Mosaic:

Week 1

Cobweb Christmas: The Tradition of Tinsel  

The cobweb curtain : a Christmas story

Week 2

A Small Miracle  

The Christmas Candle  

Week 3

An Orange for Frankie  

Night Tree  

Week 4

Father and Son: A Nativity Story 

The Christmas Donkey  

Mortimer's Christmas Manger  

And here are more wonderful books to be enjoyed this Advent.

Country Angel Christmas   

Danny and the Kings 

The Gift of the Magi 

Country Angel Christmas  

The Clown of God  

Merry Christmas, Strega Nona

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey 

The Donkey's Dream  

The Legend of the Christmas Rose  

The Legend of the Candy Cane 

All for the Newborn Baby   

Who Is Coming to Our House?

 

Feast of the Epiphany- Dia de los Reyes Sunday, Jan 6 2008 

Last night Fr. Carr came over and gave the Epiphany House Blessing, which included the Blessing of the Chalk. Here are some pictures from last night.

Lighting

Incense

Incensing and blessing the Family Room,

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our Prayer Room,

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the Master Bedroom,

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writing the initials of the Magi

Numbers

and the final blessing.

Fada

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This morning the children woke up to to find presents from The Three Wise Men Los Tres Reyes Magos under the tree. We’ve kept this tradition form my childhood. They collected grass for the camels and put it in boxes under the tree. They got a hot cocoa maker, boxes of hot chocolate, candy canes, marshmallows, and a HUGE basket of fruit with apples, tangerines, kiwis, bananas, mangoes, peaches and pears.

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Right now, my family in Puerto Rico is roasting a pig and having a wondeful celebration. There is lots of food, music and games. I miss them all very much and I wish we were there with them. Christmas is definately not over yet. Next year for Christmas we’re giving the kids one present each and The Three Wise Men Los Tres Reyes Magos will bring them what they would normally get Christmas morning.

May you all have a blessed Feast of the Epiphany. Feliz Dia de los Reyes!

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