Wednesday, October 1

October Sponsor News...

Welcome back to Liturgical Time!

Liturgical Time provides handmade infinity veils, chapel veils, mantillas, and Christian headcoverings for their patrons to wear in church, at prayer, or in everyday life. They are the creators of the Eternity Veil - the original infinity scarf style head covering. They are able to take special orders, and to provide some customization, so don't hesitate to make special requests. Their veils are made with prayer and packaged with care. Please stop by their shop to buy a beautiful headcovering!  Remember:  Ten percent of gross sales from Chapel Veils at Liturgical Time Veil Shop are always donated to charity. At the present time, this money is being used to provide emergency assistance to children who have been orphaned and families who have been displaced as a result of the civil war in Syria.

And welcome to our newest sponsor, New Cardea!

New Cardea is an online shop for digital art including Orthodox stamps for the Christian crafter. Stamps are used for scrapbooking, card-making or as printable coloring pages. For the month of October, readers of Charming The Birds From The Trees get 30% off using coupon code CHARMINGFALL14.

If you are interested in sponsorship for your small business, please contact me:  emily at orthodoxws dot com

Tuesday, September 30

Sweet Song...

This past Sunday, I pulled Sweet Song down from the shelf to share with the children in our church.  It is the second time that we have used this book about the life of Saint Romanos for our church school lesson since it has been published.  Both times, the children have been absolutely mesmerized by the beautiful story and accompanying pictures.

Sweet Song is a collaborative effort between Jane G. Meyer and Dorrie Papademetriou.  As we've come to expect from Meyer, this book is a treasure worthy of a prominent place on one's family bookshelf.  In prose that can only be described as lyrical, she tells the story of a young man struggling to read and sing during a time when hymns were often improvised.  Papademetriou's illustrations are rich, bold, and dramatically colored with detail that is simply stunning.
The job of teaching our children about the saints and our Faith has been made infinitely easier because of the efforts of Meyer and Papademetriou. We are very fortunate that they have dedicated their talent with pen and paintbrush to create such wonderful books for Orthodox families...  support their efforts by purchasing this amazing book! 

Yarn Along: Wendell Berry and Pie...

I made the first apple pie of the season on Monday night and it has been the perfect pick-me-up in the afternoons.  I always choose to make Alicia's Sour Cream Apple Pie and this time I spent some time talking to my sister, Juliana, while I mixed everything up.  I wish that she were here to enjoy a slice with me!

As you can see, my knitting hasn't grown much this week.  I really love the uncomplicated pattern though...  it's nice when a pattern is pretty and easy, isn't it?  I really like that I can pick it up whenever the mood strikes and get right back into it.

The children and I started reading The Cricket in Times Square this week...  I know that I have read it before but I don't remember much of it at all,  so the story is fresh and interesting to all of us.  Circle of Friends is just perfect before-bed reading...  It is one of my favorite stories!  Monday is our library day (it is easy to get there after our son's speech class) and for once I was prepared to dash through the stacks to get a book for myself.  I've been hearing a lot about Wendell Berry for a few months and selected Hannah Coulter for my first foray into his work.  I'm hoping that The Art of the Commonplace:  The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry will find it's way to me in the next few days...  I requested it from another library!

Sunday, September 28

Saturday, September 27

More Honorable than the Cherubim...

The Orthodox Study Bible on the Most Holy Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary
 “For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.” – Luke 1:48
For two thousand years the Church has preserved the memory of the Virgin Mary as the prototype of all Christians - the model of what we are to become in Christ. The tradition of the Church holds that Mary remained a virgin all her life (see note on Matthew 12:46-50). While lifelong celibacy is not a model for all Christians to follow, Mary's spiritual purity, her wholehearted devotion to God, is certainly to be emulated. 

Mary is also our model in that she was the first person to receive Jesus Christ. As Mary bore Jesus Christ in her womb physically, all Christians now have the privilege of hearing God within them spiritually. By God's grace and mercy we are purified and empowered to become like Him.

 The honor we give to Mary also signifies our view of who Jesus is. From early times the church has called her Mother of God (Greek Theotokos, lit. "God-Bearer"), a title which implies that her Son is both fully man and fully God. As His Mother, Mary was the source of Jesus' human nature; yet the One she bore in her womb was also the eternal God.

Therefore, because of her character and especially because of her role in God's plan of salvation, Christians appropriately honor Mary as the first among the saints. The archangel Gabriel initiated this honor in his address to her: "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" (Luke 1:28). This salutation clearly indicates that God Himself had chosen to honor Mary. Her favored status was confirmed when she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was then six months pregnant with John the Baptist. Elizabeth greeted Mary with these words: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Luke 1:42,43).

And Mary herself, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, predicted the honor that would be paid her throughout history: "For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed" (Lk 1:48).  In obedience to God's clear intention, therefore, the Orthodox Church honors Mary in icons, hymns, and special feast days. We entreat her, as the human being who was most intimate with Christ on earth, to intercede with her Son on our behalf. We ask her, as the first believer and the Mother of the Church, for guidance and protection. We venerate her - but we do not worship her, for worship belongs to God alone. 

In Matins, Vespers, and all the services of the hours of prayer, we sing this hymn, which expresses Mary's unique place in creation: "It is truly right to bless you, O Theotokos, ever-blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim, without defilement you gave birth to God the Word: True Theotokos, we magnify you."

Friday, September 26

Late September Nature Table...

:: Early Autumn Foliage :: Acorns and Oak Leaves ::  Horse and Cart ::  Phoebe Wahl's September ::
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