Monday, August 15, 2011

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life is a defined dogma of the Catholic Church. The Feast of the Assumption, celebrated every year on August 15, is a very old feast of the Church, celebrated universally by the sixth century. It commemorates the death of Mary and her bodily assumption into Heaven, before her body could begin to decay--a foretaste of our own bodily resurrection at the end of time. Because it signifies the Blessed Virgin's passing into eternal life, it is the most important of all Marian feasts and a holy day of obligation.

Time out. I wish I wrote the above paragraph, but I didn't... of all websites I have to hand it to Typically I'm not a fan of them because the site is so ugly (don't tell their mom I said that) and I'm often directed there by accident, but hey, they nailed it.

In case you are worried that you didn't go to Mass today you don't need to be running to confession. Since the Solemnity falls on a Monday it's abrogated. Ooooo, fancy word. It just means the obligation is lifted.

I love solemnities. Not only because my husband gets the day off of work (hooray for FOCUS!), but because they celebrate some of the most important aspects of our faith. Honoring Mary and remembering that one day all in the world will be right and we too will resurrect from the dead is so exciting. I really can't imagine what it will be like, but I seriously can't wait.

Because the feast falls while gardeners and farmers are harvesting there are traditionally blessings of fruits, herbs and flowers on this day. For the blessing and more info check out Catholic Culture.

My daughter picked some flowers from her very own flower garden and took them to Mass with us today for the statue of Mary. She was quite proud.

We also had a special tea time today (there was no tea, so it's more like a snack time, but tea time sounds much more official... and cool) in honor of our Lady.

To eat we had blueberry muffins which are white for her purity and blue for her mantle. To drink we had what I like to call Assumption Punch, which is made of fruit and the herb mint for the items we traditionally bless today. Directions are below!


  • 3/4 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 6 small lemons)
  • 1 c. strawberries (heaping)
  • 1/2 c. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 c. orange juice
  • 3 c. sprite
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 c. crushed ice
  • A few sprigs of mint

Step 1: Squeeze the lemons. If you roll them to soften them up a bit before you cut them open it makes the process much easier. Also, you can strain the juice when you are done to get out the seeds, or you can pick the seeds out before you squeeze them.

Step 2: Puree the heaping cup of strawberries. Any appliance with a rotating blade works here.

Step 3: Add the lemon juice and strawberries to all of the other liquids listed above. Stir it all up, garnish with mint and enjoy the deliciousness of summer.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Feast of St. Clare

It was an exciting day in the Cotter household because it's Bean's feast day!

This photo has little to do with the Feast of St. Clare, but it was taken today.

I probably don't need to tell you this, but we had donuts for breakfast. Done.

Then we listened to a Glory Story on St. Clare. Glory Stories are produced by a Catholic company called Holy Heros who put out some fabulous resources for Catholic families.

The story was a little intense for my sensitive girl, but in the end when everything worked out she was fine. We had some great conversations over the story later in the day, so she was definitely taking it all in! I hope to add more of these to our collection over the years.

When St. Clare's convent was under attack by Emperor Fredrick II, who was at war with the Pope, she brought out a monstrance, held it high and began to pray. Her prayers were heard and the army fled. Thus you often see St. Clare holding a monstrance.

Naturally for a craft today we made monstrances. 

I believe this is the last time I will ever give my kids glitter glue.

Finally we read the book Clare and Francis by Guido Visconti. This book was a gift Bean received when she was born from a great friend ours, Stacy. It is a beautiful book with amazing details that I am still discovering each time we read it.

St. Clare, pray for us!