Holy Week, vii

Holy Week, vii ~ Holy Saturday
Mourning
Sorrow
Forgetting
Jesus in Sheol
Sabbath

Good Friday Artwork Tomb Near | Motion Worship | WorshipHouse Media

This day is one of lamentation and wondering. No festal activity, but lots of prayerful song mingled with art both visual & verbal, with a constant background of musical lamentation. Nothing like my two favorite requiems for this Holy Saturday.


Scripture Reading:
Job 14:1-14
Psalm 31
Matthew 27:57-66
1 Peter 4:1-8

Poetry:

Poem for Holy Saturday by Joseph Carlson

Sepulchre by George Herbert

Cry, Beloved by Ben Palpant

Blessing for Waiting by Jan Richardson, excerpt

Hymns:

Art Study:

The Harrowing of Hell by Hieronymus Bosch, c.15th century
Descent of Christ into Limbo by Bartolome Bermejo, c.1475

Listening:

Holy Week, vi

Holy Week, vi ~ Good Friday
Trial of Christ
Torture of Christ
Mocking of Christ
Conviction of Christ
Crucifixion of Christ
Conversation with thieves
Conversation with loved ones
Darkness
Final words
Death
Rending of the veil
Earthquake
Graves opened
Soldier breaks and pierces
Jesus is laid in a borrowed tomb

Scripture reading:
Psalm 22
Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Hebrews 4:14-16 & 5:7-9
John 18:1-19:42

Hymns:

Poetry:

The Lay of Redemption by Joseph Carlson

The Whirlwind Bides His Time by Joseph Carlson

The Stranger by Ben Palpant

Activities:
Make a Resurrection Garden–closing the tomb and setting a toy soldier as sentry

Bring out the crown of thorns (we made it years ago like this) and place it on an empty table

Special Food:
Hot Cross Buns
(I used this recipe)

Art Study:

The Crucifixion by Matthias Grunewald
Christ on the Cross by Mihaly Munkacsy

Historical Practice Study:
The stations of the cross for protestants, through book and art and poetry.
Stations of the Cross for Children by Julianne Will

Stations of the Cross for Children | The Catholic Company®

https://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/good-friday-the-stations-of-the-cross/

Listening:

The Crucifixion: A Meditation on the Sacred Passion of the Holy Redeemer is an oratorio composed by John Stainer n 1887

Holy Week, v

Holy Week, v ~ Maundy Thursday
Washing feet
Last Supper
Predicted betrayal and denial
New commandment
Garden of Gethsemane
Prayer
Disciples fell asleep

Scripture Reading:
Exodus 12:1-14
Psalm 116
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
John 13:1-38
Mark 14:1-50

Activities:
washing feet
stripping the tables
walk through a Seder meal

Art Study:

Jesus Washing Peter’s Feet by Ford Maddox Brown, 1852-6
The Last Supper by Leonardo daVinci
The Betrayal of Christ by Caravaggio, c.1603

Hymns:

Agnus Dei

Poetry:

Listening:

Bach – St Matthew Passion BWV 244

Holy Week, iv

Holy Week, iv ~ Holy Wednesday, “Spy Wednesday”; plotting against Jesus, anointing Jesus; teaching, resting, fellowshipping.

Discussion Points:
What was Judas doing on the Wednesday before the crucifixon? Who did he conspire with? What was Jesus doing? Where was He resting? Who was He teaching? Who anointed Him, and what is the significance of this offering?
(Here is an interesting blog about Spy Wednesday.)

Art Study:
Study the visual difference between faithful following and plotting following. What is the posture? Where is there light versus darkness?

File:Master of Perea - Saint Mary Magdalen anointing the feet of Christ - 1975.95.1 - Yale University Art Gallery.jpg
Saint Mary Magdalen Anointing the Feet of Christ
Artist: Master of Perea, Spanish, Valencia, active ca. 1490–1510
Dixon, Maynard_Shapes of Fear
Maynard Dixon (American, 1875–1946), Shapes of Fear, 1930–32

Scripture Reading:
Psalm 70
Matthew 26:6-16
Luke 20:19-26
Luke 22:1-6
John 12:36-50
Hebrews 12:1-3

Hymn:

Snack & Stories:
Today we will eat simple bread and fruit, such as Jesus and the disciples may have had while traveling and fellowshipping and teaching. And we will read The Jesus Story by Mary Batchelor.

Poetry:
Holy Sonnets by John Donne

Activity:
Playing some spy games (ideas here and here to be a fun mom)
Printable activities:

Listening:

Bach’s Chorales & Partita No. 2 in D Minor—Holy Week festival, Tenebrae (what is a Tenebrae?)

Holy Week, iii

Holy Week, iii ~ Holy Tuesday: parables and people

Food:
Tilapia packets with asparagus; brown rice with lemon & Parmesan

Activity:
Excellent resource on parable studies for older kids:

Art Study:

Jesus Preaching by Tissot
The Prodigal Son by Rembrandt van Rijn
The Good Samaritan by Vincent Van Gogh

Scripture Readings:
Isaiah 49:1-7 (or the whole chapter!)
Psalm 71:1-17
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
John 12:20-43

Poetry:

Hymn:

Picture Books:

Listening:
J.S. Bach Cantata on the Parables

Holy Week, I

Holy Week, 1 ~ Palm Sunday, Triumphal Entry


Special Foods:

Pax Cakes with fig butter

Special Activity:

Palm frond crosses

Art Study:

Entry of Christ into Jerusalem, by Sir Anthony Van Dyck

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Anthony-Van-Dyck

Scripture readings:

Zechariah 9:9

Psalm 116

John 12:12-13

Song:

All Glory, Laud, and Honor

Poetry:

The Donkey, by G.K. Chesterton

Ride On by Henry Hart Milman

Create:

Hosanna lettering & coloring tutorial

https://www.pzazzonline.com/blog/diy-hand-lettering-easter-art-full-tutorial-p-zazz-art-studio

Listening:

Cantata for Palm Sunday by J.S. Bach, “Himmelskönig, sei willkommen” BWV 182: I-IV

Lenten & Eastertide Poetry

Looking for some poetry to memorize with your children during this season? Let me share some pieces here that my family finds pertinent and lovely.

THAT EASTER DAY WITH JOY WAS BRIGHT
By J.M. Neale

That Easter day with joy was bright:
the sun shone out with fairer light
when to their longing eyes restored,
the apostles saw their risen Lord.

His risen flesh with radiance glowed,
his wounded hands and feet he showed;
those scars their solemn witness gave
that Christ was risen from the grave.

O Jesus, King of gentleness,
do thou thyself our hearts possess,
that we may give thee all our days
the willing tribute of our praise.

O Lord of all, with us abide
in this, our joyful Easter-tide;
from every weapon death can wield
thine own redeemed forever shield.

SEVEN STANZAS AT EASTER
By John Updike

Make no mistake: if he rose at all
It was as His body;
If the cell’s dissolution did not reverse, the molecule reknit,
The amino acids rekindle,
The Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
Each soft spring recurrent;
It was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled eyes of the
Eleven apostles;
It was as His flesh; ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes
The same valved heart
That—pierced—died, withered, paused, and then regathered
Out of enduring Might
New strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
Analogy, sidestepping, transcendence,
Making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded
Credulity of earlier ages:
Let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
Not a stone in a story,
But the vast rock of materiality that in the slow grinding of
Time will eclipse for each of us
The wide light of day.

And if we have an angel at the tomb,
Make it a real angel,
Weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair, opaque in
The dawn light, robed in real linen
Spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
For our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
Lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are embarrassed
By the miracle,
And crushed by remonstrance.

THE DONKEY
By G.K. Chesterton

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

THE SCARS OF GOD’S HANDS
By Jason Farley

My soul clung to the dust,
now dust clings to my soul.
Your life-breath, once blown
up the nose of my father,
once exhaled in fruit-statutes,
once blown across the dry bones
until they could get up
and dance; breathe life
on me. Speak again the six
stanzas that climb up to rest.
Speak them into me. Tie
my ears to my dusty soul
and blow.

I, clay-jar, am
cracked. Scratched. Divoted. Grand
Canyons that leak. But, Lord, if
my scars leak out,
might they leak in?
If I am not air tight,
might your breath
sneak in?

Can scars be glory?
Can glory leave scars?
I will run to my heart’s end.
Enlarge my heart.
Might your scarred love
love the scarred?
Let your scarred hands
leave scars.
Blow. Blow hard enough
to dislodge the dust.
Even if it takes a hurricane.
Even if it leaves scars.

NO SCAR
By Amy Carmichael

Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,
I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star,
Hast thou no scar?

Hast thou no wound?
Yet I was wounded by the archers, spent,
Leaned Me against a tree to die, and rent
by ravening beasts that compassed Me, I swooned:
Hast thou no wound?

No wound, no scar?
Yet as the Master shall the servant be,
And, pierced are the feet that follow Me;
But thine are whole: can he have followed far
Who has no wound nor scar?

LEST WE FORGET
By Amy Carmichael

Home of our hearts, lest we forget
What our redemption meant to Thee,
Let our most reverent thoughts be set
Upon Thy Calvary.

We, when we suffer, turn and toss
And seek for ease, and seek again;
But Thou upon Thy bitter cross
Wast firmly fixed in pain.

And in our night star-clusters shine,
Flowers comfort us, and joy of song;
No star, no flower, no song was Thine,
But darkness three hours long.

We in our lesser mystery,
Of lingering ill, and winged death,
Would fain see clear; but could we see,
What need would be for faith?

O Lord beloved, Thy Calvary
Stills all our questions. Come, oh come,
Where children wandering wearily
Have not yet found their home.

EASTER LILY, A POEM
By Tinuviel

In unseen Saturday silence
Petals unfurl,
Mute trumpets crying out
With rolled-away stone: 

“Take hope! Take heart!
Why do you seek the living among the dead?
He is not here; He is risen! 

“Your trust, your toil,
His promise are not vain.
Death will be swallowed up in victory.
This body of death, This broken life,
This night of tears are not the end. 

“At last trumpet’s fanfare
Dead shall be raised,
Dustless, Deathless, Glorious.” 

White heralds soundless sound:
“Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.”
Hallelujah!

AMORETTI LXVII: MOST GLORIOUS LORD OF LIFE
By Edmund Spenser

Most glorious Lord of life, that on this day,
Didst make thy triumph over death and sin:
And having harrow’d hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win:
This joyous day, dear Lord, with joy begin,
And grant that we for whom thou diddest die,
Being with thy dear blood clean wash’d from sin,
May live for ever in felicity.

And that thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love thee for the same again:
And for thy sake, that all like dear didst buy,
With love may one another entertain.
So let us love, dear love, like as we ought,
Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.

LOVE’S AS WARM AS TEARS
By C.S. Lewis

Love’s as warm as tears,
Love is tears:
Pressure within the brain,
Tension at the throat,
Deluge, weeks of rain,
Haystacks afloat,
Featureless seas between
Hedges, where once was green.

Love’s as fierce as fire,
Love is fire:
All sorts – infernal heat
Clinkered with greed and pride,
Lyric desire, sharp-sweet,
Laughing, even when denied,
And that empyreal flame
Whence all loves came.

Love’s as fresh as spring,
Love is spring:
Bird-song hung in the air,
Cool smells in a wood,
Whispering, “Dare! Dare!”
To sap, to blood,
Telling “Ease, safety, rest,
Are good; not best.”

Love’s as hard as nails,
Love is nails:
Blunt, thick, hammered through
The medial nerves of One
Who, having made us, knew
The thing He had done,
Seeing (with all that is)
Our cross, and His.

~C.S. Lewis, Poems, (1964)

RESURRECTION SUNDAY, 1
By Joseph Carlson

The trumpet blast! The bells in Church tow’rs rings.
The cymbals crash! The hosts in Heaven sing.
Now let the nations all, their praises bring-
For Christ the risen Lord has conquered death!

The sun has risen from the darksome night;
He spreads his rays and on us casts his light.
A new day dawns on blind men, giving sight,
For Christ the risen Lord has conquered death!

Where is thy biting sting, O conquered death?
O grave, thy victory that stifles breath?
The sting and victory of death are gone-
Destroyed in that bright morning’s breaking dawn.

As all God’s children sing out loud and long,
Let Church bells ring out clear their ageless song.

RESURRECTION SUNDAY, 2
By Joseph Carlson

I hold an old gnarled seed in my gnarled hand.
Above the earth, it cannot hope to live.
Above the earth, it nothing has to give.
But plant that old gnarled seed, and watch the land.
One day my old gnarled hand will till no more;
Though much it gives, the best has not yet come;
Though much it sees, it has not seen its home,
But plant my gnarled hand, and watch as before.
Both seed and hand must die for them to grow;
Both must descend and find their homely grave.
For this world’s dirt has now been built to save
The dead, and raise the hands and seeds you sow.

O grave, O death, where is thy biting sting?
Our Jesus rose and has become our king.

EASTER
By Jason Farley

If it’s true,
Why do we live like we do?

Excerpts from THE HEEL-STONE
By Jason Farley

Wars and seed and bruises.
Our God promised us
wars and seeds and bruises.

But we would win
in the end.
The dragon’s curse—our promise—
is a man with a heel.
A seed with a heel.
A dragon skull crushed.

The ground remembered all of the blood from Abel.
The ground remembered all of the blood to Zechariah.
The ground knew the dead’s taste.
The ground swallowed up our dragon-slayer.
Life’s an unfamiliar flavor.
The Son of God was manifested,
to destroy the devil’s works.
Took on mortal flesh:
That, through death, he might destroy
him that had death’s power.
That death might swallow Death.
Dragon skulls echo when they crack.
Wars and seed and bruises.
The God of peace went to war.
Children of the God of Peace
now playing in the asp den.
The God of peace may soon crush Satan.
May soon crush Satan
underneath your feet.

JESUS IS THE BEAUTIFUL GATE
(Acts 3)
By Jason Farley

Jesus is the Beautiful Gate
through whom we walk and laugh and leap
into the presence of God the choreographer.

We join the sphere-dance like kings.
Join the sun, leaping and dancing,
covered lightly in light.

As Christ’s Life-Word
bubbles and leaps—alive in the dance—
within us. Stopped springs suddenly re-dug.

De-roof my heart.
Let down this paralyzed soul
to wind up a bucket of living water

To pour it out in sermon-song.
To un-dry the desert dust
that this cactus might fruit, might flower.

That it might be poured to fill the trough
of young calves, freed from their stalls
to walk and laugh and leap.

I GOT ME FLOWERS
By George Herbert

I got me flowers to strew Thy way,
I got me boughs off many a tree;
But Thou wast up by break of day,
And brought’st Thy sweets along with Thee.

The sunne arising in the East,
Though he give light, and th’ East perfume,
If they should offer to contest
With Thy arising, they presume.

Can there be any day but this,
Though many sunnes to shine endeavour?
We count three hundred, but we misse:
There is but one, and that one ever.

EASTER HERALDS
by Amos Russel Wells

Who came from the tomb
When Jesus came,
To scatter our gloom
With his living name?
‘Twas the angel Hope,
Whose sunbeams go
To the farthest scope
Of our darkest woe.
Hope came from the tomb
When the Saviour came.

Who came from the tomb
When Jesus came,
In the bursting bloom
Of a world aflame?
It was Joy, the angel,
Who sang and sang
Till the glad evangel
Through the wide world rang.
Joy came from the tomb
When the Saviour came.

Who came from the tomb
When Jesus came
From the conquered doom
Of our sin and shame?
It was Love, supreme
Of the angel host,
And her graces gleam
Where we need them most.
Love came from the tomb
When the Saviour came.

Easter Hymn
by A. E. Housman

If in that Syrian garden, ages slain,
You sleep, and know not you are dead in vain,
Nor even in dreams behold how dark and bright
Ascends in smoke and fire by day and night
The hate you died to quench and could but fan,
Sleep well and see no morning, son of man.

But if, the grave rent and the stone rolled by,
At the right hand of majesty on high
You sit, and sitting so remember yet
Your tears, your agony and bloody sweat,
Your cross and passion and the life you gave,
Bow hither out of heaven and see and save.

EASTER DAY
by Oscar Wilde

The silver trumpets rang across the Dome:
The people knelt upon the ground with awe:
And borne upon the necks of men I saw,
Like some great God, the Holy Lord of Rome.

Priest-like, he wore a robe more white than foam,
And, king-like, swathed himself in royal red,
Three crowns of gold rose high upon his head:
In splendour and in light the Pope passed home.

My heart stole back across wide wastes of years
To One who wandered by a lonely sea,
And sought in vain for any place of rest:
‘Foxes have holes, and every bird its nest,
I, only I, must wander wearily,
And bruise my feet, and drink wine salt with tears.’

SEE WHAT A MORNING
By Keith Getty

See, what a morning, gloriously bright
With the dawning of hope in Jerusalem
Folded the grave-clothes, tomb filled with light
As the angels announce, “Christ is risen!”

See God’s salvation plan
Wrought in love, borne in pain, paid in sacrifice
Fulfilled in Christ, the Man
For He lives, Christ is risen from the dead!

See Mary weeping, “Where is He laid?”
As in sorrow, she turns from the empty tomb
Hears a voice speaking, calling her name
It’s the Master, the Lord raised to life again!

This voice that spans the years
Speaking life, stirring hope, bringing peace to us
Will sound ’til He appears
For He lives, Christ is risen from the dead!

One with the Father, Ancient of Days
Through the Spirit who clothes faith with certainty
Honor and blessing, glory and praise
To the King crowned with pow’r and authority!

And we are raised with Him
Death is dead, love has won, Christ has conquered
And we shall reign with Him
For He lives, Christ is risen from the dead!

And we are raised with Him
Death is dead, love has won, Christ has conquered
And we shall reign with Him
For He lives, Christ is risen from the dead!

Merriest Christmas

Merriest of Christmases to you, my friends! From my family of gingers, we wish you many blessings as the hope of Advent ushers us into the joy of Christmas! We look forward to the light of coming Epiphany, for the light of the nations has come. Sing loud, sing long, sing with gladness ~ sing of this joy, come to all the world!

“Then let us all with one accord,
sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
[who] hath made heav’n and earth of nought,
And with His blood mankind hath bought!”

“Sinners, wrung with true repentance,
Doomed for guilt to endless pains,
Justice now revokes the sentence,
Mercy calls you; break your chains.
Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King!”

Feasting Through Advent

A practice that I have enjoyed with my family in the last few years is focusing on feasting and hospitality for the duration of the Advent season, and actually right up through Epiphany when possible. I think it stemmed from two different traditions: one, with family; the other, with friends.

The first, with family, stems from my childhood. I grew up in a Silicon Valley suburb in California, living within two miles of my entire maternal side of the family, which consisted of five generations for almost a decade. Many of us attended church together every Sunday morning, and I still love remembering the long pew we filled in the balcony of my childhood Bible Church. A pillar for about a dozen years in my formative years, that place still makes cameo appearances in my dreams and holds a tender spot in my heart. But even the relatives who didn’t join us in worship on Sunday mornings, joined us for Family Dinner on Sunday evening. There was always a standing invitation (and, honestly, expectation) for family members: 6pm Sunday Dinner at Grandma’s house. Those evenings of food, loud table conversation, helping in the kitchen, reading the funny papers with my Great Grandpa, watching America’s Funniest Home Videos with my uncles, and pitching in with my little cousins planted in me the love of tradition, family dinners, and generational living. After we moved away from CA, and all of our relatives, the tradition died – and it was dearly missed.

The second tradition root is the annual habit of sharing an Epiphany feast with friends (alternating between their home and our home). As a way to reconnect and celebrate with longtime friends at the conclusion of the Advent/Christmas/Epiphany narrative, we have actually managed to keep this annual celebration for roughly a decade already, and I thought it would be fun to extend that idea to other friends as well.

Those are the two backstories which grew into my current practice of Advent weekends. It makes for an intense month of hospitality – but what is the Incarnation about? Ultimately, it is about the most intense hospitality imaginable. It is my joy to nibble at the edges of that glorious example of generosity and grace.

On Saturday evenings, we have an open invitation to family to join us for our Advent feast. This is the uppercrust version, where we have fancier foods, use goblets and china, sing hymns, read Scripture & a liturgy, have candles flickering all over the room to light the darkness, and light the candles in our advent wreath. We also give a group gift to our children after the meal, reminding them that the reason we give gifts is because we have been recipients of the ultimate gift of Christ. The gifts this year have been Advent calendars (the classic chocolate-a-day), matching flannel pajamas, a board game, and an outdoor game. This year, my parents and my grandma have joined us every Saturday evening, and it has been an enormous gift.

On Advent Sundays after corporate worship, we have a family over to share a simpler meal and fellowship & play & rest together, in the wake of Jesus coming to make all things new and spread the Gospel to all peoples. We usually have some variance of soup and bread and dessert to share, although a casserole in lieu of soup has been just as simple this year. We set up the meal buffet-style, often use paper plates/bowls, and have no set liturgy (but are always glad to hand out hymnals and carol together).

These four weeks of hospitality, fellowship, feasting, and anticipation are something our family looks forward to throughout the year. And each year, I think I grow personally in my skill & joy of hosting. Be not deceived: it is hard work! But by God’s grace, I am learning to focus on the aspects of it which actually matter (filling bellies, fattening souls, engaging minds, encouraging hearts), and letting go what is unnecessary or selfish or perfectionistic.

The hope of Advent is almost fulfilled… the joy of Christmas is almost here… the light of Epiphany is on its way…

We are Christmas people! Let us feast together & rejoice!

Celebrations

Why do we celebrate? Why do we have traditions around things like birthdays and holidays and seasons and the Church calendar? These are not commanded celebrations or traditions, to be sure, but they are gifts to myself and my family and those whom we embrace in hospitality. God loves to show abundance in His kindness and mercy in His remembering. As image-bearers, I think it is particularly beautiful when we seek to copy Him in this abundance and mercy. If I have an opportunity to be kind, let me be showing it with abandon. If I have an opportunity to remember, let me do so with an active mercy to all around me.

As the wife and mother in my household, I get to set the tenor and timbre of most of the family traditions and celebrations we pursue (especially those we ultimately keep), and this is a huge privilege as well as honor. I want to do it with joy! But does that mean that, in order for it to bear good fruit, I also need to have a facade of happy whimsy or only put my hands to this work when I am feeling full of glee? No indeed.

As the tradition-maker, tradition-leader, tradition-keeper in our home, I get to set my hands, my mind, my heart, and my attitude toward the principle of joy in these things whether it comes naturally or not. I won’t seek to cultivate traditions that nobody likes or enjoys or remembers fondly, nor will I seek to be legalistic about traditions. Birthdays happen whether we have a cake, blow out a candle after singing a certain song, give gifts, or not. The only thing necessary for a birthday is to have a birth followed by a passage of time. My husband turns 38 today regardless of whether or not I made him a cake and gave him a gift. But I did those things because I love him, and we happen to keep those traditions in our family… I knew it would bless him if I kept those habits.

And with other traditions, this is likewise true. Tomorrow is the first day of Advent (which begins on the fourth Sunday prior to Christmas), although some of our Advent traditions won’t start until two days later, because some things just do 25 days in December. Both work just fine for me, and help me lead in gently. I can wade in each year without just throwing myself off an unseen sandbar. Advent does not necessitate nor imply drowning.

The Church calendar still begins the new year tomorrow, whether I mark it or not. There will be a candle lit in its honor at our morning worship service whether we light one at home or not. Christmas is still coming! We can’t keep it back! Even the world around us knows that they can’t stop it from coming. Just ask the Grinch. The Light has come: darkness has been shattered.

But in my love of Advent, I have gathered up some traditions through my years as the keeper at home. Keeping in line with our family’s deepest loves and culture-cornerstones, our traditions with Advent center primarily around books, music, food, and hospitality.

I am going to share some of our Advent traditions here this year. From recipes to poetry to devotional stories artwork, it is good to Mark what one’s own pursuits are as well as to learn from those of others around you.

One of our Advent traditions that starts today for us is our weekly Advent Dinner. On Saturday night, we kick off the next week of Advent with an upscaled dinner complete with chocolates, wine, readings & singing, and a group gift for the children. My parents live next door, so they have an open invitation to join us, and sometimes my grandma comes as well. It is full of candles and sparkle and my great-grandma’s china dishes. Then on Sundays after corporate worship at church, we have a family or two over for a simple lunch coupled with robust fellowship.

To start off my sharing this week, here were our menus:

Saturday Advent Feast:

•buttermilk biscuits with peach jam
•roasted Brussels sprouts, asparagus, carrots, & onion
•southern fried chicken
salted caramel brown sugar cheesecake

Sunday’s Hospitality Lunch:

•lasagna (gooey, cheesy, beefy!)
•sourdough bread with soft butter
•salad with bright balsamic dressing
•buttered carrots
•pecan pie
pumpkin cake with cinnamon icing