Sunday, April 19, 2009

Feast Day: Divine Mercy Sunday

Today, Easter Sunday is done for this year. For Catholics, Easter Sunday is such an important day in the liturgical calendar that it actually breaks the world's schedule and extends for an eight-day period! Honestly! (Also, the "Easter Season" goes on thru Acension and on to Pentecost -- 50 days AFTER Easter Sunday -- so we've got quite a few "partying" days left).

I thought this was an appropriate day to post a bit about our Lenten practices this year and our Easter Sunday (that lasted 8 days!):
Here is the calendar I posted so the family could focus on different events, readings and schedule of Lent. I marked all the feast days (that interrupt the fasting of Lent) -- such as St. Patrick's or St. Joseph's days -- and the fasting times. On each day, I put the appropriate liturgical readings and any other pertinent information. There is a little picture of two boys walking that we moved each day to mark our Lenten journey. This seemed to help the kids remember that although Lent is LONG, it is not endless and that there is a "happy" ending -- the happiest ending for all mankind!
Here is our Lenten table. The alms box (for Catholic Relief Services) was center-stage the whole Lent -- we all added to the box when we could (in secret) and dad would take the offerings to school each week. The red hexagonal box holds the kids' rosaries for evening prayer. The flowers remind us that Easter (and Spring) are coming ... we tried to keep fresh ones there throughout Lent. The purple cloth is for the penitence and sorrow of what lies ahead for Jesus during Holy Week.

Here is a close-up of the knitted "nest" I designed. Based on a smaller design from Hannah Fettig's Closely Knit (a great book with sensational ideas), I knit from the center out and made a family-sized version so we could ...use it on Easter Sunday for our family basket. Here it's filled with goodies -- peeps (for the annual peep wars!), jelly-beans, chocolate eggs, DVDs, games and even a drawing book, and of course "custom-designed" hardboiled eggs surrounding the whole. The cloth is one I embroidered back in 2001 for a special Easter Basket that was blessed at Church the year we did the Byzantine "Great Lent". (BTW, for my knitted nest directions, check out my knitting blog, By Hand, With Heart for a free Easter gift to you ....)

0-dark-30 Easter Monday (or 3:45 a.m.!) we headed out to visit relatives down in South Carolina -- and the 8.5 hour drive was so worth it as we so LOVE these folks down there. The kids have fun, dh and I are surrounded by those who love and respect us, and it is just a wonderful time. BamBam finally ventured out on his 2-wheeler (without training wheels) and felt the sense of freedom only learning to ride a bike can give! A few days of R&R was just what we need ... and we hit the road back here on Thursday, just in time to check out potential houses (God willing, the house in Colorado closes on May 11th!) on Friday.

We finished up the week with a spectacular Easter Saturday: a day of fun-in-the-sun with our favorite Chaplain at the Nationals game against the Marlins. Unfortunately, they lost (9-6 in the 11th inning) but the day (and company) were so fabulous, we didn't mind too much ...

Here are some photos of the big day (the first time for us at the Nationals Stadium):Sipping on cokes ...munching on hotdogs and chips ....and stuffing our faces with cotton candy (and yes, those two ate the whole bucket -- while the rest of us ate ice cream!)A great time was definitely had by all!Divine Mercy Sunday (today) found us down at St. Patrick's in Spotsylvania for Divine Mercy Sunday Mass ... and a wonderful reminder from the parochial vicar there to NEVER forget that God's mercy is bigger than ANY sin (or sins) we can commit. All we need do is ask for His forgiveness and follow the right path ... and we will live with Him and the Saints for eternity!

Happy Divine Mercy Sunday to you and yours ... and enjoy the next 42 days of the Easter Season!

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