From Independent Fundamental Southern Baptist to Roman Catholic
First, what is Saints Feast Family?
Saint Feast Family is A calendar form of the saints with recipes, traditions, locations and more!
This blog is a foundation of the Catholic liturgical year with the saints along the way.
My vision for this humble blog was for it to be a simple yet elegant journey throughout the year. Saint Feast Family could be compared to a stained-glass window, full of beauty, teaching stories of the bible, and of the saints. So, eloquent that one falls in love with faith and traditions, that this will be a guiding instrument in one’s life. This foundational blog is not only beautiful in the faith but it is rich in cultural diversity, inclusion, and universal love.
… Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-40)
Thank you to the ones who helped me on my journey!
To the ones who have helped me on this amazing journey. Thank you to my family for always supporting me and many thanks to my church family at Holy Trinity in Gainesville, VA. Thank you Fr. Vander Woude, without you this would not be possible, I hope this book honors you in all that you taught us. Thank you to Fr. Tewes who was a plethora of knowledge, you are truly missed and you will always be in our hearts and prayers. Also, Thank you to Fr. Tran, Deacon Ross, Paulina Albizures, Kathy Schulze, Jen Carmichael, all the staff and fellow church friends. Thank you to my Pappoús Georgios Nikolopoulos who taught me so many amazing traditions with love and my Yιαγιά Linda who taught me to never take life too seriously, that laughter is medicine for the soul. Thank you to Ron and Ann Marie who through their actions taught us traditions of faith, family, and love are the cornerstones of our lives. Annmarie and Ron were taught through the actions of their family. Genevieve Kobasiuck Minella was our matriarch, who showed us the ways through her heart, how to be the light. One of her last actions was a small gift of a rosary and as she gave this to me she said, “Take a little Jesus with you and always keep him in your heart and pocket.” This was such a simple gift but one I will always cherish. Nick Cappellini, was the patriarch of our family, and he was a brilliant physicist, he taught the family even through science, god is still with us. And thank you most of all to my adoring, loving, supportive husband and son.I love you both with all of my heart.
Let me introduce myself, I am Kelley and I am married to an amazing man named Ron. I am from the south and he is from the north, I was raised Southern Baptist and he was raised Roman Catholic, he has a master’s in math and is a Navy pilot and I went to culinary school, I love hotels and he loves to camp...we are so opposite of each other but we are each other’s best friend. I can’t imagine my life without him, he is my rock.
Before we married we went to marriage counseling with my pastor, Pastor Richard Hamel, at my home church in Pensacola, FL. I remember what my pastor stated to us during our time of counseling, he said, I have no doubt that this union will last but once you have a child you should try to go to one church, meaning pick one faith. We both looked at each other, squinted our eyes at each other, we thanked him, and said we would think about it.
Years later we were blessed with the perfect son who we named Ronny. Ronny has seen the world with us. He’s traveled from Florida to California to Maine and all over the United States, to Japan and now to Italy. There is one place that always grounds us and that is at grandma Annmaire’s house in Old Forge, Pennsylvania.
We always seem to be there during a big holiday, so we always to go to church and we attend mass. Every time we went to mass Ronny would watched the entire family, except for me, get up and take of the Eucharist. One year we were sitting in mass waiting for everyone to receive their Eucharist, Ronny turned to me and stated, “I want to do that.” I looked at him and said, “What do you want to do angel?” “I want to receive of the Eucharist with the family.”
Up to this point, in his little life, Ronny had mostly gone to service not mass. I had faithfully taken our son to a Southern Baptist church with me. Ron travels a lot and for long periods of time so going to mass wasn’t going to happen that often but now my child, thinking for himself, stated he wanted to take that special step and connect with the family and faith.
All of a sudden, my mind raced back to my pastor stating pick one faith but I still would not have changed teaching Ronny about being Baptist. I told Ronny, as a Baptist, all that knew was the KJV bible (King James Version) or Sola Scriptura meaning scripture alone. I was really proud of my faith, heritage, and upbringing. I felt that I knew my bible really well. I could debate with the best of people especially my catholic husband but I didn’t know anything about being a Catholic. I knew enough to tell my son that he would have to start going to RCIC classes which are the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children classes or catechism classes to be able to take of the Eucharist.
RCIC classes would take time and Ronny is not known for his patience so telling him he would have to take a year of classes in order to be like his cousins did not go well but he stated he wanted to do it. I was very proud of him. My son also wanted me to go with him to the classes because this was something new, he was feeling a little overwhelmed and shy. I told him I would love to take the classes with him and support him on his journey, plus this would help me talk with him about his lessons. I ended up taking the adult class while he was in the children’s class. This was great because I didn’t know anything about the Catholic church. There is so much more to the church than just the bible. I look back thinking I knew the “cliff notes” of Catholicism, I knew next to nothing but Catholicism was all around me.
Learning all that the church was teaching was starting to overwhelm me so I started taking notes, then I started taking notes on my computer in a word document, and then I started a blog. I named the blog Saints Feast Family so that my friends and family could see what I was learning. This opened dialogue up which was amazing because I was still debating things. I was Southern Baptist and this wasn’t going to just turn off because I was respectfully sitting in a church class. I loved asking questions, hopefully not annoying my priest. He would always laugh and state it is a real joy to teach people new to the faith. There is a fire and passion unlike with cradle Catholics. I would squint my eyes and think, wow, Catholics are so reserved and interesting…hmmm…
Over time I became very close to my new church family. I would always do things the Southern Baptist way like hug my priest good bye, which the first time I received a funny look. I just laughed a little and looked at my husband and said well that went well. I would try to wiggle and enjoy the music being played in mass but that too was a no-no, bringing food to church but there is no eating or drinking before mass. All these rules, why were Catholics so rigid? It took a long time but I learned that they are not rigid but there are rules to be followed which allowed one to be respectful of the church and others around them. It took a full year to learn the basics of what it means to be catholic, it took a full year to compile my blog, it took a full year to be able to take of the Eucharist and I hope my journey, my story, will inspire others to enjoy a year with Christ and the Saints.
Please forgive me!
I took a step back and really thought about when to start the year of Christ and the Saints. At first, I started with January but I didn’t like that January is in the middle of the 12 days of Christmas. Then I thought when does the church start their calendar year? The Church year begins on the first Sunday in Advent, which is the fourth Sunday before Christmas. I still felt like this is an odd place to start a cycle of holidays especially being American so I finally decided on the month of October. This is the beginning of the school year, the beginning of fall, the beginning of decorating for the holidays and everything starts to go into full throttle for all things religious. Please forgive this neophyte (newbie) for changing things up a bit. The flow of this blog will consist of talking about Christ, the saints, the church, the locations associated with the day in hand, recipes, traditions, legends and stories of the event, and little tidbits that I learned which helped me. This blog is a foundation of the Catholic year with saints along the way.
First things first…how to walk into a catholic church
I know this sounds really basic but there is a right way to walk into church. In order to walk into a catholic church, one must genuflect, meaning bending of the right knee to the ground as a sign of reverence to the Blessed Sacrament. So, it is customary and proper to genuflect whenever one comes into or leaves the presence of the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the Tabernacle, which is a lock box that holds the Eucharist or it will be held in the Eucharist Monstrance (sun shaped) which is to be shown during adoration or mas. The Eucharist is a wafer or the “body of Christ” which is given out to baptized Catholics who are in a state of grace at each mass. Not everyone at a mass may partake in taking of the Eucharist, only those Catholics who are fasting and who have been to confession may take of the Eucharist. But this does not mean that non-Catholics may not partake in this part of the mass. In some churches, Non-Catholics are greatly encouraged to come up with their arms crossed over their chest for a blessing, like at Saint Catherine of Siena Catholic Parish in Manchester, NH. Speak with your parish before the mass on this matter so there will not be an awaked situation and please refer to the inside cover of the missalette for the United States Bishops’ statement on Holy Communion.
Rules for Baptized Catholics Partaking of Holy Communion (1 Corinthians 11:29)
First, you must be in a state of grace.
Second, you must have been to confession since your last mortal sin.
Third, you must believe in the doctrine of transubstantiation.
Fourth, you must observe the Eucharistic fast.
Fifth, one must not be under an ecclesiastical censure.
So, knowing the rules for Holy Communion, Catholics and non-Catholics are asked to abstain from the Eucharist Sacrament during mass if these rules cannot be adhered too. Abstaining is acceptable and during this part of the mass, one should stay in their pew and pray until the next part of the mass begins. One should not feel excluded and if there is something weighing on one’s heart about this then speak to the priest after mass, they would love to chat about how to fully partake in receiving the Eucharist.
Now that you know how to walk into a church, if you need to sit down after genuflecting, at the back of the inside of the church you may bless yourself by doing the sign of the cross with holy water. There are usually holy water fountains or fonts near the pews by the doors at the back of the church. So, you have genuflected coming into the church, you have blessed yourself with holy water and now it is time to sit down…but you have to genuflect at the pew again before sitting down. Why is knowing this import? Because when visiting our saints, they are usually in catholic churches. It is import to know how to be respectful while in a catholic church. Some catholic churches are filled with amazing art and history so even if you are not catholic you can still enjoy visiting one.
Catholic, It’s a small world after all.
What does the word Catholic mean? Catholic means universal.
This was very interesting to me because no matter where you go in the world, if you are attending a catholic mass it will be the same mass (not homily) everywhere. A homily is a commentary that follows a reading of scripture.
Even if you don’t have your bible that is ok. The church has a book in the pews called a missalette. This is a calendar that shows what each mass is going to cover from the bible scriptures, to instructions, and prayers. It covers the entire mass. Songs are usually in a hymnal. Hymnal books are located next to the missalette. Most of my catholic friends don’t remove their bibles from their homes where as my Baptist friends take their bibles to every service.
Over the next few pages I want to engage on why I feel this book can be universal and connect not only with Catholics but all Christians and anyone with an open heart. I will provide some depth to why it is ok to spend time, dining with the saints and celebrate all of the liturgical seasons. This brief foundation provides a simplified insights and connections that transcend Judaism, Catholicism, and Protestantism. I also want to highlight where in the bible this foundation is, so that one may read these scriptures. For me, as a former Baptist, my thinking was “Well, where is that in the bible??” and now I know. I find this fascinating and I hope you will enjoy this too.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8(NIV) 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
Catholic Bible vs. other Bibles
Catholics and Non-Catholic Christians, we are all part of the same family!
(*Christian: one who believes in the holy trinity: the father, the son (Jesus), and the holy spirit/ghost; and is a follower of Jesus.)
You might think all Christian Bibles are the same but that is not so. There are so many variations of the bible. Most modern bibles differ so today audience can understand them better. The Catholic Bible vs. the King James Version (KJV) Bible are different in that the KJV came about during the Protestant Reformation. Protestants removed the Deuterocanonical Books (which they refer to as Apocrypha or hidden) or 7 books from the Old Testament. One will not see Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, or Baruch. One reason for their removal was due to being originally written in the Greek (Hellenistic) cannon verses the Hebrew cannon (the Torah+). Catholics and Eastern Orthodox consider these Deuterocanonical books as accepted, approved, and recognized as part of the original bible and are canonical. Reason, the Apostles used the deuterocanonical books and would cite the Septuagint (Greek) version of the Old Testament both during the time of Christ and before. *Interesting note: the new testament was written in Koine Greek …(in short due to the Hellenization of the empire of Alexander the Great. Alexander is written in the bible in 1 Maccabees chapter 1.)
The conflict? During the 1st century, Jewish leaders organized scriptures at the Council of Jamnia which did not include the Deuterocanonical books. Jewish leaders questioned why these books were in Greek and not in Hebrew. Many years later with the finding of the of the Dead Seas Scrolls, it shows that they were indeed part of the Hebrew literature of the time of Jesus and before.
The Deuterocanonical books were confirmed a few times by different councils such as:
Pope Damasus I, at the council of Rome in 382 AD, ratifying the 1st formal canon for the church which included these books; at the council of Hippo in 393 AD, at the council of Carthage in 397 & 417 AD, by Pope Innocent in 405 AD, at the Ecumenical Council of Florence in 1442, and at the council of Trent in 1546 AD. Pope Damasus I’s formal canon or bible is what all Christians used since the 1st century, what all Catholics maintained, and what they still use to this day.
So why did Martin Luther (a German Catholic priest turn during the protestant reformation and established Lutheranism) remove or move 7 Books from the Bible? Because he adopted the Jewish canon which did not support a few teachings of the Catholic Canon which he questioned since these scriptures were found in the Deuterocanonical books. Martin Luther on October 31, 1517 (Reformation Day) nailed his 95 (opinions) theses to the doors of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. One opinion Martin took issue with was purgatory. Martin Luther is quoted: As for purgatory, no place in Scripture makes mention thereof, neither must we any way allow it...but 2nd Maccabees 12:43-46 speaks of purgatory (Verses for reference:) … 46 It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins. Martin Luther, furthermore, believed in the Five Solae (5 alones or the 5 pillars of reformed theology): Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone"), Sola fide ("by Faith alone"), Sola gratia ("by Grace alone"), Solus Christus or Solo Christo ("Christ alone" or "through Christ alone"), and Soli Deo Gloria ("Glory to God alone").
The foundation for Protestants and how to talk to them!
1: Sola Scriptura or bible only, (the only foundation) means: that the bible is the only infallible and sufficient rule for governing issues of life and doctrine. The Catholic Church does believe that the bible is infallible, but the church has traditions and core beliefs that have been passed down through the apostolic succession. An example of this is the “Holy Trinity,” one will not find this in Sola Scriptura or the bible alone: but this is a core belief for both Catholics and non-Catholic Christians… the term Holy Trinity came from the council of Nicaea in 325 AD.
Verse for reference: 2 Thessalonians 2:15 15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold on to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.
2: Sola Fide meaning salvation through faith alone, (or the only means): our justifications before God is by in Christ alone and not by works. Catholics believe once they have received Christ that their lives will be transformed, one will walk in Christ’s footsteps doing good (or good works) not that good works will get them into the kingdom of heaven. Justification, is the act by which God moves a willing person from the state of sin (injustice) to the state of grace or righteous (justice) but Catholics believe that Sanctification is needed after Justification. Sanctification is actively growing holiness in oneself with love, hope, and faith.
Verses for reference: Romans Chapter 2… 6 Who will repay each person according to his deeds. 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NASB) 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
3: Sola Gratia or grace alone, (the only method) means: our justification and salvation are both solely by the sovereign grace of god and not dependent on any action or condition man provides. Catholics believe that… For by grace you have been saved through faith, not as a result of works, but that one should grow into a holy temple of the Lord.
Verses for reference: Ephesians 2:4-6, 8-10 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 2:18-22 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
Extra Verses for reference:
Titus 3:5 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we did in righteousness, but in accordance with His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit. Saint Thomas Aquinas states this simply, not by the works of justice which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.
Romans 11:6 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
The Council of Trent stated with this verse in the Decree on Justification in Chapter 8 that: We are said to be justified gratuitously because nothing that precedes justification, neither faith nor works, merits the grace of justification; for "if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise (as the apostle Paul says) grace would no longer be grace."
James 2:4 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
Romans 2:6-7 6 who will repay each person according to his deeds: 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, He will give eternal life;
Galatians 6:7-10 7… for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap…
Matthew 12: 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Words are more than just faith.)
4: Solus Christus or Christ alone, (the only mediator): meaning Jesus is the sole mediator between God and man, salvation is possible only by his death and resurrection. Catholics believe that salvation is possible only by his death and resurrection, and that they may pray to him directly but that a priest is needed to teach the bible and keep the church universal through divine worship and leading the people. (CCC 1592)
Verses for reference:
Ephesians 4:3 3 being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
2 Peter 1:20 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture becomes a matter of someone’s own interpretation.
Acts 8:30-31 30 Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?”
Hebrews 13: 17 17 Obey your leaders and submit to them—for they keep watch over your souls.
Saint Paul is speaking in 1 Corinthians 4;15-16 15 For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel...
Leviticus 19:22 The priest shall also make atonement for him… before the Lord for his sin which he has committed, and the sin which he has committed will be forgiven him.
Another amazing example of why Catholics believe Christ alone is questionable could be challenged by the Easter story. People were given Jesus in the flesh and they still crucified him. Jesus stated: Forgive them father for they know not what they do…. God gave mankind his living word, in the flesh as Jesus. Jesus taught mankind the word of God through his action, he performed miracle after miracle and man still could not fully grasp what they were given, these actions show that man will always need a teacher (priest). Even the disciples learned from their Rabbi: which is a teacher —this is a title of respect applied especially to spiritual instructors and learned persons. Jesus was their Rabbi who taught them how to grow spiritual, and through the Apostolic Succession we are still able to grow with Christ as he taught the disciples.
5. Soli Deo Gloria or Glory to God alone, (the only ambition): all glory and honor is due to God alone. Catholics believe in giving God the father, God the Son, and God the Spirit the highest honor but they also give glory to the blessed mother, the saints and the angels. Catholics believe these amazing examples of Christ are gifts from God. Catholics do not give these amazing examples of Christ more glory than Christ himself, but they do give thanks to them and are thankful for them. What would we be as Christians without the stories of the bible reminding us how to walk with Christ. These memorials of inspirational Christian figures are not idolatry but rather wonderful testimonies. Even without reading about the saints, one can be reminded to walk with them, through Christ in righteous. This is glorifying Christ. There are a few words to tie into this discussion which are Latria, Hyperdulia, and Dulia in a nut shell they state: Dulia is to give honor to the saints, Hyperdulia is to give extra honor to the blessed mother and Latria is to worship the Lord, and this is how Catholics place honor.
Verses for reference: Exodus 25:17-20 Making the Ark of the Covenant out of gold adorned with angels per God’s instructions. Revelations speaks of Communion of Saints and how they pray for us. Romans 8:27 states 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God…
In 1527 King Henry VIII, a devout Catholic, wanted to divorce his 1st wife, Katharine of Aragon, but Pope Clement VII denied the request thus starting the English divide with the Catholic church. In 1534 the Church of England was established and in 1611 the KJV Bible (English) did not omit these books, but placed them in a separate Apocrypha (hidden) section apart from the Old and New Testaments to indicate their status.
So, the segregation of these 7 books happened a little over 400 years ago for many reasons but we as Christians can see that these books are important and should be a part of the bible. The beauty of the Bible is knowing its mysteries, seeing the bible in its completeness. If one knows their Old Testament then the New Testament will be so much more insightful.
, dining with the saints and celebrate all of the liturgical seasons. This brief foundation provides a simplified insights and connections that transcend Judaism, Catholicism, and Protestantism. I also want to highlight where in the bible this foundation is, so that one may read these scriptures. For me, as a former Baptist, my thinking was “Well, where is that in the bible??” and now I know. I find this fascinating and I hope you will enjoy this too.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8(NIV) 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
Catholics are the oldest Christians
This may stir the pot a little but the Catholic Church is the oldest and largest Christian church. The pope, is the Bishop of Rome and he is the chief pastor of the church. He is entrusted with the universal ministry. The church's administration, the Holy See, is in Vatican City, a tiny territory of Rome, of which the pope is head of state.
Some people may argue that the Orthodox Church is the oldest Christian church, but both Catholics and Orthodox both agree that the Protestant Reformation happened on October 31, 1517 which splintered the church, forming new religions such as Lutheranism, Anglicanism, Presbyterianism, and Anabaptist.
Mainline Protestants also known as the "Seven Sisters of American Protestantism" are: Methodist, Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian Church, Episcopal Church, American Baptist Churches, United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ, as well as the Quakers. Two major differences with Protestants verses Catholics would be first, the communion sacramental: Protestants believe that the Eucharist is in Christ’s spirit and it does not physically change into the body of Christ, Catholics believe in transubstantiation and that the Eucharist is transformed into the actual body of Christ and the wine into the blood of Christ. The second difference, with these new faiths, they are not in the line of the apostolic succession.
Catholics are visual
When walking into a catholic church one is surrounded by the beauty of the church. Usually catholic churches are designed and decorated so beautifully that one is supposed to feel closer to god. Some churches are simple and some are very elaborate, some are small and some are big but most have a similar flow about them. Most churches are in a cross shape. The walls are covered with stained glass windows. These windows show stories to parishioners and without even needing to read a word it says so much. Beneath the windows usually churches have the stations of the cross. There are 14 stations each one shows an event of the passion (death) of Christ.
Around the church one will see statues of saints and in front of the main sanctuary a crucifix hangs above the altar. The church and the sanctuary are usually decorated to reflect the season. Again, without reading a word, visually Catholics know the season.
Do Catholics celebrate the seasons, the sun and the stars?
Is the Catholic church concerned about the environment?
Yes, if you think about the church is based upon our calendar. Our calendar is influenced by the seasons, stars, the solstices, and the equinox. All these events and items are very import. What would Christmas be without the Christmas Star or without Saint Lucy’s light, brightening the darkest day of the year, bringing us hope. Even our crop rotations are intertwined with the church calendar. These days are called Ember Days.
The church celebrates Ember Days four times a year, they are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fasting and abstinence like mini Lents, and a time to reset. They were arranged for the entire Church, in the 11th century, by Pope Gregory VII for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after December 13 (Saint Lucia/Lucy), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after September 14 (Exaltation of the Cross). The purpose of their introduction, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy. (Days of lent or abstinence are without meat.) In the 12th century Saint Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of Ecologists, spent time writing about the balance of nature. And today the church still writes about nature and environmental issues. Pope Francis wrote the Laudato Si. This document points out concerns about the plant based in science and theology. Pope Francis points out that we are all interconnected…the sun, the moon, the stars, the sea, the land, the animals, and people…to hurt one of god’s creatures is to hurt all of god’s creatures.
Psalm 104:19 He made the moon for the seasons; The sun knows the place of its setting.
Genesis 1:29 … “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.
Acts 14:17 … for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.
The Seasons & Traditions
1 Corinthians 11:2 2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I handed them down to you.
The word ember as used in this context originated from the Latin root Quatuor Tempora, meaning "four seasons.” Over time this word changed from tempora, to empora, to what we say today ember.
Winter: Saint Lucy feast day (December 13th) we give thanks for the olives that make holy oils for the Unction. Food connection are olives and olive oil.
Spring: Ash Wednesday (moveable, 46 days before Easter Sunday) we give thanks for the flowers and bees that make the blessed candles. Food connection is honey.
Summer: Pentecost (moveable, 50 days after Easter) we give thanks for the wheat used to make the Eucharist, the Body of Christ. Food connection is wheat.
Fall: is celebrated after the Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14), we give thanks for the grapes that make the wine for the Precious Blood of Christ. Food connection is grapes.
*Like Ember days the church celebrates Rogation Days which are days devoted with special prayers for the crops "to ask" God for protection from calamities. They comprise the Major Rogation (Major Litany) on April 25 and the Minor Rogations (Minor Litany) on the three days before the feast of the Ascension. This is also a time to remember to be good stewards of the earth.
Galatians 4:10 You meticulously observe days and months and seasons and years.
Psalm 104:15 And wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man's heart.
During the calendar year the church also celebrates special masses. These days end with “mas,” some of these days are very familiar to most and some might not be.
Roodmas September 14
Michaelmas September 29
Allhallowmas October 31
Soulsmas November 2
Andermas November 30
Christmas December 25
Childermas December 28
Candlemas February 2
Johmas June 24
Loafmas August 1
Marymas August 15
When thinking about these amazing days, it is easy to connect the pieces and understand why these days are so very special. Allhallowmas (along with All Saints Day) and Soulsmas combined as a “tide” celebrates the souls of the departed, Andermas marks the start of Advent, Christmas is the birth of Christ, Childermas is the mass to remember the children that were massacred at the hand of King Herod during the time Christ was born, Candlemas is a mass that reminds us to the spread Christ’s word and that he is the light of the world, Ladymas’ are masses that are in remembrance of Mary or have a special connection to her, Johmas reminds us that baptism is important, Saint John the Baptist is the patron saint of baptism; Loafmas is a mass to give thanks to the wheat harvest which connects to the Eucharist, and Marymas is a mass that is done in remembrance of Mary’s Assumption to heaven.
Colors of the Season and their meanings
The Catholic Church engages all one’s senses, one can hear the sound of the music, they can see images of the nativity, icons, stained-glass windows, and they can smell the aroma of the incense. This is done to help one connect deeper to the liturgical seasons.
In nature, god reminds us, like with the changing of leaves in fall, for people to decorate and to celebrate each season. We naturally seek in visual ways and in physical ways to acknowledge and celebrate in the calendar year.
Colors are another way the church connects Catholics visually to an event or holiday. Have you ever wondered why certain colors are used? The choice is not random or simply decorative, nothing in the church is random. Everything has a special place, a special meaning, a special way it is handled and honored.
Symbolizes: purity, joy, light, glory
When used: Christmas and Easter seasons; Holy Thursday; the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity; the feasts of Our Lord, the Virgin Mary, the angels and the saints who are not martyrs; the Conversion of Saint Paul (January 25), the Chair of Saint Peter (February 22), Saint John the Baptist (June 24), the feasts of All Saints (November 1), and Saint John the Evangelist (December 27). White is used at nuptial Masses, baptisms, `on parish anniversary, and Thanksgiving Day in the United States.
Symbolizes: hope, life, anticipation
When used: Ordinary time, a season focused on the Lord's public ministry and it is a reminder that the mission of the church is to share the life of Christ with the world.
Symbolizes: penance, preparation, sacrifice
When used: Advent, Lent; may be used for funeral Masses.
Symbolizes: anticipation, rejoicing
When used: Gaudete Sunday (the third Sunday of Advent) and Laetare Sunday (fourth Sunday of Lent). Both "gaudete" and "laetare" meaning "to rejoice" in Latin. This is a signal of the upcoming joyful events.
Symbolizes: blood, fire, passion
When used: Representing blood, on Palm Sunday, Good Friday, the celebration of the Lord's passion, the birthday feast days of apostles and evangelists, and the celebration of martyred saints. As a symbol of the Holy Spirit and the burning fire of God's love, red also is used on Pentecost Sunday, the sacrament of confirmation and the votive Masses of the Holy Spirit.
Symbolizes: death, mourning
When used: At funeral Masses, the feast of All Souls, and the anniversary of the death of a loved one.
Where are colors used?
Liturgical colors are used on sacred vestments, banners, altar frontals, the ambo (lectern/pulpit), and sometimes on the veil over the chalice.
Special words used in the catholic church
Adoration: is a sign of devotion to and worship of Jesus Christ. Catholics believe that the Body, Blood,
Soul, and Divinity are present, in the form of the consecrated host, that is the sacramental bread (the Eucharist).
Amen: means I Believe or in Hebrew: so be it.
Apostles: one who is sent on a mission, a witness of Jesus is one who tells his story
Apostolic Succession: means succession of spiritual authority from the apostles. (meaning handed down from Jesus, to the apostles, to pope to pope.) (Simon Peter or Peter the Apostle, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, and in Greek his name (Petros) means the Rock. Saint Peter or "the rock" on which the church was built on was handed the keys to the church from Jesus. Saint Peter was the first pope of the Catholic Church who passed the keys of the church to the next pope thus starting the Apostolic Succession. Saint Peter was martyred on what is now called Saint Peter’s Basilica. Matthew 16:18-19 (KJV) 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven…
Beatific Vision: the immediate knowledge of God which the angelic spirits and the saints or souls of the just enjoy in Heaven. (Meaning seeing God face to face. 1 Corinthians 13:12) (Praying with the saints)
Assumption: Taken up
Canon: the books of the Bible recognized by any Christian church as genuine and inspired or it simply means the law or rules.
Catechism (from Ancient Greek: κατηχέω, "to teach orally") is a summary or exposition of doctrine and serves as a learning introduction to the Sacraments traditionally used in Christian religious teaching of children and adult converts. (It is a manual of religious instruction or handbooks of instruction that were prepared by the Church Fathers.)
Catholic: means universal. (Catholics are Christians who follow the teaching of Jesus Christ through Apostolic Succession.)
CCC: Catechism of the Catholic Church
Confession: a disclosure of one's sins, asking for forgiveness, seeking a state of grace (James 5:16)
Disciple: The Greek term means student, pupil, apprentice, or believer. The people who were devoted followers of a great religious leader (Jesus) or teacher of philosophy.
Dulia: The honor given to saints and angels in heaven. (Matthew 27: 51-53)
Eucharist: the term comes from the Greek by way of Latin and means “thanksgiving” or to give thanks. In the Catholic Church the Eucharist is believed to be the body of Christ (John 6:47-57). If one is in a state of grace then they may partake in receiving the body and blood of Christ. This is given at every mass. Catholics believe this will bring one closer to God. Also in the Catholic church the Eucharist is unleavened bread like what Jesus would have eaten at Passover but in the Orthodox Church the Eucharist is leavened and the risen bread is symbolic of Christ who has risen from the grave on Easter.
Grace: being in a state of Grace: is having asked God to forgive one's sins. It is a condition of being free from mortal sin. It is the state of being in the necessary condition of the soul at death in order to attain heaven.
Holy: (1) sinless. An example would be Jesus (2) dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; sacred. An example would be the Pope.
Homily: is a commentary by the priest that follows a reading of scripture in a mass.
Hyperdulia: The honor given to Mary, the most blessed of God’s creatures. (Hyper meaning to give extra honor.)
Latria: The adoration or worship and praise reserved for God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Liturgical Feasts: feast of a saint. The word "feast" refers to an annual religious celebration, a day dedicated to a particular saint.
Mary (Our Lady): The Blessed Mother of Jesus. She is seen as a bridge between human and the divine. She gave birth to Jesus, she raised Jesus, she protected Jesus, and she was his biggest advocate. She is held is a special place of honor.
Mass or Mas: is the central act of worship of the Catholic Church, which culminates in a celebration of the sacrament of the Eucharist. In Latin Mass or Missa means “Go, it has been sent.” “The Mass has ended, go in peace”. (Go spread god's word) Mathew 28:19, Mark 16:15, proclaim the good news to others. The Mass is an act of thanksgiving to God – the best we can give!
Mystery: valuable knowledge
Novena: is a tradition of devotional praying in Christianity, consisting of private or public prayers repeated for nine successive days or weeks.
Pasion: Death or to suffer
Pray: to ask for something or to make a request in a humble manner.
Protestant: to Protest or Protestor; Protestant originates from the Latin word protestari, meaning "declare publicly, testify, protest," or a person who is making a public declaration against something he opposes.
Sacraments (the 7 Sacraments): Catholics believe that the love and gifts of God are given through seven sacraments which are Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Anointing of the sick, Marriage, and Holy orders.
Service: is a formalized period of Christian worship by non-Catholics. The service is the gathering together of Christians to be taught the "Word of God" (through the Protestant Bible which is different than the Catholic Bible) and encouraged in their faith. Usually the Eucharist is not taken at every service, it is taken much less often, sometimes as little as four times a year. It is a very special presentation sometimes referred to as the Lord’s Super. In most non-Catholic churches, everyone can partake in this practice.
Theotokos: Greek for which means the one who gave birth to God.
Transubstantiation: Matthew 26:26-30, Mark 14:22-26, Luke 22:14-20 (Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.) The Eucharist and wine at a mass have changed from the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. This is not symbolic in the Catholic Church.
Torah: The Hebrew Bible. The Torah contains five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. (Just like the Catholic and Christian Bible)
Trinity: The Holy Trinity: The Christian belief of the Trinity holds that God is one God, but three coeternal and consubstantial persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct, yet are one "substance, essence or nature".
Witness: (or meaning Martyr in Greek) is someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, or refusing to advocate a religious belief. Also, one who can attest to a fact or event through their testimony.
Five major milestones, in the gospel, of the life of Jesus
Jesus’: Crucifixion or Passion (Death) occurred on Good Friday
Jesus’: Resurrection, (he rose himself up), occurred 3 days later, on Easter Sunday
Jesus’ Ascension was 40 days after his Resurrection or Easter
Jesus: Pentecost or 50th day after Easter, the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus; birth of the Church
Jesus’: Transfiguration, on August 6, he was made into light, as in the light of the world, Jesus acknowledged Himself to be divine, the Son of God, Jesus was the one of whom the law and prophets spoke of.
Jesus and his mother
Growing up in the Baptist faith the focus was on Christ and Christ alone. Emphasis on the Blessed Mother or Mary, the mother of Jesus is not something the Baptist church feels is as important in contrast to the catholic church. Learning the words that represents her and her many special feast days were overwhelming for me. I love that the church places her in such high regard but this was a whole new world for me, but was it really? I read my bible but I never connected the parallels from the Old Testament to the New Testament. How could I miss the connections, how could I miss the words in front of me? The bible is filled with amazing comparisons.
Conception, presentation, assumption are not words that the Baptist church emphasized and they were not special days or holy days of obligations pertaining to the Blessed Mother. I know they may be used for other saints and special days but right now we are connecting them to the Blessed Mother.
Conception (formed), Nativity (birth), Presentation (given to the church), *Passion (death), Assumption (taken to heaven) these very special days in the Catholic church are honored with a special mass or prayer called a Ladymas. There are 9 masses with this title. They are the feasts about Mary or feasts about Mary’s connection to Jesus.
Mary’s Conception (Dec. 8) --------Jesus’ Conception (Mar. 25) Annunciation of the Lord
Mary’s Nativity (Sept. 8)------------Jesus’s Nativity (Dec. 25) Christmas
Mary’s Presentation (Nov. 21)-----Jesus’s Presentation (Feb. 2) Candlemas
Mary’s Assumption (Aug. 15)---Jesus’s Ascension (40 days after Easter) Ascension Day
The Assumption of Mary was carried out by Jesus. Jesus lifted or assumed Mary up. Jesus was her personal Savior.
Parallels: The ark of the covenant & Mary, the new ark of the covenant
the Old Testament & the New Testament
God dwelled in the Ark (2 Samuel 6, the Old Testament)
God dwelled in Mary (Luke 1:35, the New Testament)
The ark of the covenant was made of pure gold and it was for royalty (Exodus 37)
Mary was pure and came from a Royal Family Line (Luke 1:32-33)
King David brought the ark of the covenant to the hill country (2 Samuel 6:3-4)
Mary was in the hill country of Judea (Luke 1:39)
David leaped and danced in front of the ark (2 Samuel 6:14)
John the Baptist leaped in front of Mary (Luke 1:44)
David questioned who am I that the ark should come to me (2 Samuel 6:9)
Elizabeth questioned why the Mother of my Lord should come to me (Luke 1:42)
David left the ark in hill country for 3 months and was blessed (2 Samuel 6:11-12)
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for 3 months and everyone was blessed (Luke 1:56)
*Jesus & the Eucharist
Passover Lamb (Exodus 12)
Easter Lamb: Jesus (Lamb of God): 29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)
Revelation 11 19 And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared ...
Revelation 12 1A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2 and she was pregnant...
Why do Catholics pray with intercessors?
Catholics pray with intercessors for a few reasons but one interesting reason would be out of respect. There are many passages of the Old Testament which links traditions to the New Testament such as giving honor to a Queen Mother. Just as Jesus honored his beloved mother, Mary, so did his ancestor Solomon do with his mother Bathsheba. The law states “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land ... Exodus 20:12
Queen Intercessors for the People
Old Testament Intercessor
1 Kings 2 18-20 18 So Bathsheba said, “Very well, I will speak for you to the king.” 19 Bathsheba therefore went to King Solomon, to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her and bowed down to her, and sat down on his throne and had a throne set for the king’s mother; so she sat at his right hand. 20 Then she said, “I desire one small petition of you; do not refuse me.” And the king said to her, “Ask it, my mother, for I will not refuse you.”
New Testament Intercessor
Mary, mother of God, at the Wedding at Cana
John 2:1-11 … 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus *said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “What business do you have with Me, woman? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He tells you, do it.”…
Praying with the Saints
Having a better understanding of our calendar will give you a stronger connection to our saints. Feast days are usually celebrated on the day the saint died. This book places all the saints in calendar order along with holy days of obligation and other important dates.
So why do we pray? Usually because we are politely requesting something or as the Catechism states: “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God” (CCC 2590).
Why do we ask the Saints to assist us while praying? Ecclesiastes 4:9 - 10 states It’s better to have a partner than go it alone… And if one falls, the other helps…
There is power in prayer and there is power in numbers. We pray with the saints so that our prayers are heard, we pray with the saints because this will give us strength through the company of loved ones, and we pray with the saints for their holy help. The Bible teaches that there is one body (or family) of Christ and that the saints in heaven belong to it. Each member of Christ’s body (or family) should pray for the other members. Asking a saint to pray with you is like asking a friend to support you in prayer. The saints hear our prayers and they are there praying with us.
Revelation 8:2-4: 3 Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand.
A little prayer before meals
Deuteronomy 8:10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the Lord…
Remember to always say grace and give thanks for the food that is given. Here are a few ways to show a thankful heart during dinner time grace.
Bless us O Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
As a child I always remember saying,,, God is great, God is good, let us thank him for this food. Amen.
Sometimes it would be a little longer with the extra line: God is great, God is good, let us thank him for this food. By his hands, we all are fed. Thank you Lord for our daily bread. Amen.
Even the smallest of thanks is ok. Prayer before meals doesn’t have to be long and theatrical but just one of gratitude. Even just saying thank you Jesus will do. Adding the sign of the cross will show even more gratitude and give you grace, and it is a prayer of its own.
The Sign of the Cross
The sign of the cross is a way Catholics bless themselves. It is a sign of reverence and it is a shield of protection. The sign of the cross also shows two mysteries of the faith: (1) the holy trinity and (2) that Jesus died for us on the cross.
The Sign of the Cross (Catholic)
Yes, there are two ways: Catholic vs. Orthodox
Using your right hand while it is open, you should touch your forehead and say “in the name of the Father,” the lower middle of your chest and say “and of the Son,” and the left shoulder on the word "and of the Holy," and the right shoulder on the word "Spirit." Amen.
Another symbol of the sign of the cross: Touching one’s forehead: is To Know Him,
Touching one’s heart: is To Love Him, Touching one’s shoulders: is To Serve Him.
How does one pray?
The answer can be found straight from the bible!
First let’s look at what the bible is, the bible is many things and besides the obvious, it is a treasure of insights, a collection of wonderful stories, a guide for living life to its fullest, but it is also a form of Ancient Jewish Meditation Literature.
Psalm 1:2-3… but those who delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season. In Hebrew, the word for “meditate,” means to “mutter” or “speak quietly.” This holds the idea of slowly, quietly reading the Bible aloud to yourself and talking about it with likeminded people. Matthew 6:6 6 But as for you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. Ancient Jewish meditation literature is a form of literature which simply means it is a life time of learning, a life time of reading and rereading to fully understand the word of god. To meditate also means to think deeply and focus one’s mind for a period of time in silence or in prayer.
Prayer and the Golden Rule
James 4:2 … You do not have because you do not ask...
Matthew 7:7–11 7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you…
Matthew 7:12 (NASB) 12 “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law ...”
Pray like Jesus
Luke 11 1-4 It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, when He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.” 2 And He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Your name…
Matthew 6:9-13 9 “Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father, who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Hail Mary Prayer
(On March 25, we celebrate the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the Annunciation of the Lord. On this day, the text goes into more detail.)
Luke 1:28 (KJV) 28 … Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Luke 1:42 (NASB) 42 … “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
Luke 1:31 …and you shall name Him Jesus.
Luke 1:43 (NASB) 3 … mother of my Lord …
James 5:16 (NASB) 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed…
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Praying the Rosary
This is a form of meditation, to think deeply and focus one’s mind on what is weighing on one’s heart and soul. The rosary allows one to slow down and to find calm, to find balance, to find one’s center, and to find peace (shalom). This is a form of Spiritual healing. It is not mindless and repetitive meaningless words it is quite the opposite. It is bringing into focus what one is lacking through the word of god. The rosary is the bible on beads meaning they are the scriptures from the new testament and one is praying the new testament. The rosary breaks down each Mysteries in a simplified form.
(Below is a picture of a Rugged Rosary)
So, let’s get started with this universal connection not only with faith but with food!
Devine food is biblical, the building blocks for all great food can be found in the bible.
There are many things that make food richer but seven main elements are salt, fat, wine (tenderizer), fire, faith, hope and love. All of these elements can be found in the bible and in church. Parishioners are the salt of the earth, fats are the gifts to god, wine is the blood of Christ, fire (the bread) is the body of Christ, and faith, hope and love are ways of holy growth. On the pages of this book you will see this repeated theme over and over. …So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
(Picture: The Wedding Feast at Cana by Paolo Veronese)
John 6:35 …Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.