Posts Tagged ‘traditions’

Easter Sunrise at Home: Building a Family Tradition

An Easter sunrise breakfast is one way families can transmit Christian belief in ways that are authentic to their household.

Thursday is Candlemas: A Brief Guide

Every year Christians celebrate the Feast of the Presentation, also called Candlemas. This day honors Mary and Joseph presenting the Christ child at the Temple, 40 days after his birth. To learn more about Candlemas, check out these two Building Faith articles.

8 Activities for All Saints’ Day

On November 1st the church remembers the saints of God – all faithful servants and believers. The day is seen as a communion of saints who have died and of all Christian persons. All Hallows’ Eve, October 31st (from which our Halloween traditions come); All Saints’ Day; and All Souls’ Day (November 2nd – the Day of the Faithful Departed), are connected by tradition and are often celebrated together.

The Halloween Pumpkin: A Christian Twist

And while we sit carving our jack o’lanterns, we remember these words of St. Paul: Your attitude must be that of Christ. Though he was in the form of God, he did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at. Rather, he emptied himself… Because of this, God has exalted him. (Philippians 2:6-9)

A Thanksgiving Reflection: “A Way of Life”

Do we read the historical research and realize that they were not all very nice people and that their arrival was not necessarily a hit with the native peoples? What about all the other people who arrived on these shores at different times and in different places?

The Sign of the Cross

by Sharon Ely Pearson Several months ago I wrote a piece on Building Faith about genuflecting – making the sign of the cross. Blessing oneself or crossing oneself, is a ritual blessing made by members of many branches of Christianity. This blessing is made by the tracing of an upright cross or + across the body with the right hand, […]


The week before Christmas we would gather in the undercroft (basement) of the church and assemble the luminaria. Creating an assembly line, one of us would open white lunch-size paper bags, placing them on large trays. Another person would use a paper cup to dump about two inches of sand in the bag, followed by another person placing a white votive candle (one that would burn for eight hours) in the sand.

UnPlug the Christmas Machine

Believing in the true spirit of Christmas, I commit myself to…
* Remember those people who truly need my gifts
* Express my love in more direct ways than gifts
* Examine my holiday activities in the light of my deepest values
* Be a peacemaker within my circle of family and friends
* Rededicate myself to my spiritual growth

The Origins of Christmas Celebrations

If you think about winter, and its real severity, it just makes sense for human beings living in areas that have winter to have a mid-winter blowout party.

The Feast St. Nicholas

St. Nicholas was the bishop of Myra, which is now in southern Turkey. He died about 343 and was buried in Myra. In 1087 Italian sailors moved his body to Bari, which is today on the East Coast of Italy. This is why he is sometimes known as St. Nicholas of Bari. There are many popular stories about this popular saint, but he is best known for giving gifts in secret to children.

The Celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is a Mexican national holiday, will often begin a week before the feast day of December 12 as pilgrims begin to travel to the Basilica near Mexico City where the most elaborate celebrations are held.

Pomp & Pageantry

This year’s pageant will be my third as Family Minister, my tenth if you count the years I volunteered. We’ve had a different pageant every one of those years. My predecesor found some terrifically funny yet poignant offerings from a variety of publishers in her time; until 2009 when neither of us could find one we really loved.

What is a Saint? Books for Children and Adults

What are the characteristics of a saint? What does the Bible say about saints. Bibliography for children and adults included with many books on saints.

Advent Colors: History and Meaning

Some churches use Bright Blue to symbolize the night sky, the anticipation of the impending announcement of the King’s coming, or to symbolize the waters of Genesis 1, the beginning of a new creation. Some churches, including some Catholic churches, use blue violet to preserve the traditional use of purple while providing a visual distinction between the purple or red violet of Lent.

Religion and the Olympics

What began in ancient Greece as a festival to honor a single god, Zeus, has now become an almost Olympian task, as organizers of the games navigate dozens of sacred fasts, religious rituals and holy days.

Patrick’s Prayer of the Trinity

St. Patrick’s Breastplate is contained in the ancient Book of Armagh, from the early ninth century, along with Patrick’s authentic “Confession.” St. Patrick is said to have written this prayer to strengthen himself with God’s protection as he prepared to confront and convert Loegaire, high king of Ireland.

It’s Pentecost, Let’s Party! Four Practical Ideas

Pentecost is the birthday of the church. Elizabeth Windsor has some ideas up her sleeve to help adults and children get into the spirit and celebrate.

Cinco de Mayo!

Literally “the Fifth of May,” Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican Holiday celebrating the Battle of Puebla, which took place on May 5, 1862.

Easter Dove Cake – Recipe Included

The Story of the Dove Cake is an Easter legend in Italy. Once there was a king who wanted to capture a city. His horse did not cooperated and would not enter battle. While trying to get his horse to charge through the city, a young girl offered the horse a piece of cake that was shaped like a dove, the bird of peace. Upon receiving this gift, the king decided not to conquer the city with his army after all.

Easter Eggs – History, Meaning, and Traditions

During the Middle Ages eggs were not allowed to be eaten as part of the Lenten fast. So Easter Sunday became a day to celebrate with the eating of eggs. Children used to go house to house, singing and begging for eggs. They were paid in hard-boiled eggs, dyed with vegetables such as beetroot (red), spinach (green), onions (yellow)and tea (brown).