Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Favorite Fall Feasts

I am blessed to live in the kind of place that you see in those scenic 1000-piece puzzles.


Despite being strangely indifferent to pumpkin spice flavored items, I really love fall. The maples are turning early this year, and after two weeks of unseasonably hot weather, cool days and chilly, star-studded nights are supposed to be back by tomorrow. The squirrels are racing around after hickory nuts and the hummingbirds disappeared several weeks ago. I expect the chickadees will start following me out to the mailbox soon, chattering to remind me that it's time to put up the birdfeeders. . The field behind my house is bright with goldenrod and wild asters. 

Given my fall fixation  it's no wonder that I tend to picture St. Francis tossing acorns to squirrels, the Holy Archangels flying on their  various errands against a backdrop of crimson foliage, and the North American martyrs preaching in Iroquois lodges that are piled high with colorful pumpkins and gourds. I've pictured both recently canonized popes, (John Paul II and John XXIII)  enjoying a slice of the apple pie I make with the fruit that falls from our trees these days.    Yep, the many  wonderful saints of October are inextricably bound up with the season in my imagination. 

I love the way the Liturgy of the Hours gives me a concrete way to honor my favorite fall saints even on days that daily mass is not available.(By not available I mean either that I am not organized enough to get out of the house to make it, OR that mass will not be said at my local parish that day.) So instead of just glancing at the calendar and saying, "hey! It's St. so and so's feastday," I can actually offer the public worship of the Church in honor of that saint, all from the comfort of my home. 

Which are your favorite fall saints? 

And as usual, any questions related to the Liturgy of the Hours are welcome here.






22 comments:

  1. St. Francis for sure! And both St. Therese and St. Teresa, I am never quite sure which is which. The LOH doesn't even seem to tell me who is the Little Flower. And St. Nicholas, who I have been devoted to since childhood when we put out shoes on Dec. 6.

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    1. Micki, St. Therese of the Child Jesus, also known as St. Therese of Lisieux, is the one we call The Little Flower. Her feast is October 1st. St. Teresa of Avila is October 15.

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  2. Mine is a bit of an Odd one because my Favourite "Saint" day is the Feast Of All Saints, due to my love of the hymn "For all the Saints."

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    1. I love that hymns too, and I wish we'd here it in Church more than once a year! I also love it when we get to do all the verses instead of just a few of them, which is why I sing them all at home when I do Morning and Evening Prayer on Nov. 1st.

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  3. I like King St. Edward the Confessor (Oct 13), last Anglo-Saxon king of England whose first-class relic our parish has on perpetual display for veneration. All the emphasis on the Angels (St. Michael - Sept 29; Guardian Angels - today, Oct 2; St Raphael - Oct 24) is great, too. I don't know about other folks but I have a tendency to neglect them, and these are good reminders of their importance and intercession. All Saints and All Souls are probably my favorite duo, though.

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  4. Somewhat obscure, October 9 is the feast of Our Lady of Good Help, the only church-approved apparition of the BVM in the United States. This feast is the locus of my personal devotion to Our Lady, not least because I grew up in Wisconsin near the site of the apparition and the current site of the Shrine. I celebrate it as a Solemnity and make a pilgrimage to the Shrine.

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    1. I guess you would just use the entire common of the Blessed Virgin for that?

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  5. Thanks Daria, I'll try to remember!

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  6. an open question with regards to a shorter MP and EP, can you say the octave of Christmas/Easter using the seasonal hymn antiphons but the Monday to Saturday weekday Psalter? Thanks God Bless.

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    1. Well, you could do it that way if you like but that is not the official liturgy for those days. We're supposed to use Sunday week I each morning of the octave, and evening Prayer II of Christams each evening. But if for some reason you find it convenient or comfortable to stick with that shorterMP/EP book, then do so in good conscience. For the laity it's always optional. The only question is how much you want to be in union with what the rest of the church is doing that day.

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    2. On that note: Make Octaves, Vigils and First Vespers Great Again!

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  7. Quick question: is there any rubric to prayer the Liturgy of the Hours in honor of First Friday devotion to the Sacred Heart? Not the main feast day but the first Fridays of the month, just like the Mass has the votive Mass to honor the Sacred Heart on Friday. Thanks!

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    1. You could always commemorate it after the collect of the day.

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    2. Tom, I think that's the best solution. And I suppose you could use other parts of the office for the feast.

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  8. Dear Daria,

    Has anyone ever asked the (dumb?) question: Why does the Liturgy of the Hours not begin with the Sign of the Cross? The individual hours, when prayed separately, all include the "Glory Be", but when one starts with the Invitatory, the "Glory be" is not even required before The Office of Readings and/or Morning Prayer.

    Just askin'.
    Thank you!

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    1. Hey James,

      Not a dumb question, because I don't think the modern publications of the reformed Office make it clear or easy to understand, but the Sign of the Cross is very much part of the Office: it is made at the very beginning of each hour at "Deus in adjutorium"/"O God, come to my assistance."

      One does not cross oneself at the doxology (Glory be), not in the Latin rite anyway (the custom is to bow at this part instead).

      In addition, a small sign of the cross is traced with the thumb on the lips before the invitatory, at "O Lord, open my lips." And additional regular signs of the cross are made at the beginning of the three Gospel canticles (Benedictus, Magnificat, Nunc dimittis) in Lauds, Vespers and Compline.

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    2. Thank you, Tom for saving me the trouble of typing the same answer. And James,there are no dumb questions!

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    3. Thanks, Tom. I was aware of the instructions and observances of all you explained, except for the lack of ANY instruction or even sign (a Cross) at the opening to the "God, come to my assistance...", and the reduced sign you explain at the beginning of the Invitatory. I have prayed in various diaconate communities, and found the Sign of the Cross made with the Doxology at the beginning of Morning, Evening and Night Prayer......but only the Doxology which begins the Hour. I have prayed the Hours with Trappists and Benedictines, but found their customs do not necessarily match the format/prayers used in the newer books. But they have given me the custom (which I observe) to bow at the Doxology at the end of a Psalm or Canticle.

      Where are your customs stated for instructive purposes?

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  9. I just came across this blog entry from a novice for the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters. It was a great shot in the arm for praying the Office even when it does not match my mood.
    https://collaborativedominicannovitiate.blogspot.com/2017/10/learning-to-love-divine-office.html

    Dick M.

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    1. That's an excellent article. You might enjoy this one of mine, especially the picture posted with it: http://dariasockey.blogspot.com/2016/09/its-not-about-you-or-is-it.html

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  10. Hi Daria quick question, as iv been thinking of using the universalis app for the LOTH as it's much easier than the books, does the app have an automatic check thing so you know you have said an office?

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    1. It does not. Great app, though. It's what first got me and my wife into praying the Office years ago.

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