Tuesday, December 28, 2010
'"All creation is filled with joy today. Christ is born of the Virgin!" (Verses after Psalm 50, feast of the Nativity)
"May the whole universe exalt and leap with joy, for Christ has come to regenerate it and to save our souls." (Aposticha at Vespers)
As we meditated on the mystery of God's incarnation, the meeting of God and Man and the coming together of all creation at the Nativity of Our Lord...it was fitting that our dear cat Scout participated in the festivities. This picture was taken during Vespers on Christmas Eve. She sat in rapt attention like this on the bench for almost the entire service. And at dinner she joined us to partake in one of the twelve dishes of the traditional Velija Supper: the fish. She also seemed to enjoy the straw under the table! It is tradition to feed the animals at or after this supper to remind us that they, representing creation, were present at the birth of Christ--when He took on flesh to redeem all of creation.
Do you like our nun cookies? :)
"O Christ, what shall we offer You for Your coming on earth in our humanity for our sake? Every creature that has its being from You gives thanks to You: the angels offer hymns of praise, the heavens give a star; the Magi present their gifts and the shepherds, their wonder; the earth provides a cave and the desert, a manger. As for us, we offer a Virgin Mother. O God who are from all eternity, have mercy on us." (Stichera at Vespers for the Nativity)
Looking for a fun and interesting way to spend your New Year's Eve? Check out a benefit event, "Help Us Get Our Habits On," to support our friends Anna and Amanda in their journey to become TOR Franciscan Sisters. We'll be there, and so will the TORs!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
|Click to view collage in full size|
What an evening! Almost 50 people packed into our monastery to celebrate the feast of the patron saint of the Byzantine Catholic Church, St. Nicholas. Everyone was instructed to take off their shoes and leave them in a row in the dining room, and after vespers the shoes were found to hold some treats from St. Nicholas. Great Vespers was beautiful, celebrated by Fr. Dennis Hrubiak. It amazes me how beautiful the prayers are for this saint about whom we know very little, and everyone sang together very well. Fr. Dennis blessed my recently completed icon of St. Nicholas at the end of vespers. And then we feasted on an amazing potluck dinner! After dinner, St. Nicholas himself showed up (he looked very much like Fr. Dennis...they must be cousins). St. Nicholas announced the winner of the trivia contest, Jessica Santacrose (congrats!), and gave the correct answers to the trivia questions about his life. He spoke to everyone about caring for the needs of others and of course gave the kids chocolate! We felt so blessed by the presence of so many great people who joined us (even in the snow) to celebrate, some coming from as far as Pittsburgh. We are glad that you can feel at home in our home.
If you will be near the Parma area on Saturday, come out to the Cathedral (1900 Carlton Rd. Parma, Ohio) and visit us at our table at the St. Nicholas Craft Show taking place there from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. We will be selling our jams, jellies and breads.
May God bless you as you continue to prepare your heart for Christ's coming.