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05

How do you celebrate Epiphany?

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How do you celebrate Epiphany?
I almost broke my tooth on it.It was the evening of Twelfth Night, the end of the Christmas season, and my parish church was celebrating as many churches and families do in France, with a galette des rois—what might be translated as a King’s Cake.We don’t just sit down and eat this cake, mind you. There’s an age-old protocol that needs to be followed having to do with the little charm that bakers hide inside the cake. The youngest child present must hide under the table a...
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| Categories: Inspiration, Advent-Christmas, Lent, Family | Tags: | View Count: (3364)
08

‘Tis the Season

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‘Tis the Season
I mean that literally. We know a couple of the Church’s liturgical seasons well—Lent and Advent come to mind right away. But what happened to Christmas?The truth is that it’s easy to make Advent into a sort of almost-Christmas season. There are gifts to purchase and wrap. There are carols and Christmas parties and Santas all over the place. Christmas trees and lights go up a month ahead of Christmas Day. So by the time Christmas Day actually arrives, it finds everyone a little ...
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How Do I Live Jesus This Advent and Christmas?
If you’re like many families, in October you feel like you’re still recovering from the mania of getting your kids back to school: re-establishing schedules (“no, you can’t stay up until eleven o’clock”), sorting activities (“how am I ever going to get Jamie to ballet class and Alyssa to her trumpet lesson at the same time?”), and policing homework (“if you’ve really finished, show it to me.”). Halloween is a blip on the calendar,...
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19

Sharing Joy at Christmas

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Sharing Joy at Christmas
The day was cold, (it was December after all), but as usual, there was not a flurry of snow in sight. That's common for South Louisiana; so, all things being equal, it would be a normal Christmas Day in my family's home where we lived not so far from a bayou or two. Or so everyone thought.Did armadillos aggravate the dog next door? Most possibly. Did possums hiss from under the porch? Undoubtedly. Did an alligator waddle through the neighborhood? Perhaps, but he really should have been h...
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06

Christmas Carols by the Numbers

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Christmas Carols by the Numbers
These first two weeks of December are always very special for us Daughters of St. Paul. These are the weeks of our Christmas concerts (click here to listen to a sample of the concert favorites from 2016 released on a new CD). This year the sisters who record the albums for the Daughters of St. Paul Choir performed in New York, Staten Island, Boston, St. Louis and Cleveland. In the words of Sr Julia Darrenkamp from the Daughters of St. Paul Choir, “music is the only art that will live forev...
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01

Put Jesus First: Advent & Fasting

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Put Jesus First: Advent & Fasting
While it is difficult to keep in mind in the midst of holiday celebrations, shopping, lights and decorations, and joyful carols, Advent is actually intended to be a season of fasting, much like Lent. It probably doesn’t feel that way, but any time the Church asks us to prepare for something, there’s an element of penance that goes along with that preparation.There’s something very appropriate about penance in this holy season of waiting. Because we spend time reflecting on the ...
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21

Put Jesus First: Advent & Almsgiving

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Put Jesus First: Advent & Almsgiving
The early Church’s three “pillars” of faith, were (as we’ve seen) prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Almsgiving is a very specific part of charity: it means giving of the blessings that you’ve received to those less fortunate than you but who are in a special way part of who you are.And, like the other two pillars, it’s not always easy to practice. Many of us are already trying to “make do” with just enough money to cover our essential needs; we don&...
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14

Gabriel's Message (Basque Carol)

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Gabriel's Message (Basque Carol)
“The angel of the Lord appeared to [Joseph] in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emma...
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14

Creator of the Stars of Night

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Creator of the Stars of Night
Today's feast of St Lucy, whose very name means “light,” is a suitable moment to take a look at an ancient Advent hymn whose primary image for Jesus is light.As with O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Creator of the Stars of Night has its origin in the Divine Office, where it has long served as the hymn for Advent Vespers (Evening Prayer). While the original Latin hymn dates to about the 7th century, it was translated into English as early as the 14th.With Creator of the Stars of Night we ...
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14

Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus

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Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus
“When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ, he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question: ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’” (Mt 11:2-3)Come Thou Long-Expected JesusThe lyrics of Charles Wesley's hymn evoke the message and ardor of John the Baptist, and perhaps some of the ardor of Charles Wesley himself. Wesley was a man of deep devotion; he and his brother John were ridiculed as students because of their alm...
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