Catholicism, Life, religion


Not again, I hear you moan. She has only just returned to blogging and we get another complaint , centred on banal liturgy.

But not today. Today, instead, I look at my breviary during recess break and I think about a way to celebrate feast days this week. Mass and a cake and a Marian table display for the Presentation of Our Lady (November 21)? And it occurs to me that here is the great wisdom of the Church, in celebrating the liturgical year. For each week the solemnities and saints days drag me out of the busyness of my life, make me contemplate the sacred mysteries and this life of Faith, make me take a break and bring the life of Faith to the fore of everydayness.

I am reminded of this quote from “In This House of Brede” by Rumer Godden, a book I read again every few years:

“‘Don’t you see, it’s like a pageant. Our Cardinal has said the liturgy entertains as well as feeds us…Yes, we’re not angels but humans,’ said Dame Clare, ‘and human nature is made so that it needs variety. The Church is like a wise mother and has given us this great cycle of the liturgical year with its different words and colours. You’ll see how you will learn to welcome the feast days and the saints’ days as they come round, each with a different story and, as it were, a different aspect; they grow very dear, though still exacting.’”


6 thoughts on “Liturgy”

  1. Thanks for posting this Leonie. I am really struggling with the liturgical year. I make plans but then fail to follow through — because I won’t stop what I am doing and take the time to do so. And because even though I try to make simple plans they are still one more thing I have to do. So I am trying to find that happy medium between taking time out and keeping it real (which means keeping it something I will do). I have always loved your simple meals and desserts along with a table setting.

    As for Brede — I read that book for a book club years ago. It was beautiful, but I don’t know how you bear to read it over and over again. Certain parts are just too tough for me as a mother.

    1. It’s such a real book, I guess, and so when I visit again after a few years , that realism makes me think and feel. It’s sad but gloriously happy, too!

      I find just saying a prayer or changing a statue on the dining table helps me and others think about the liturgical year. Or keeping a saints book open in an obvious place, we turn the page and look. Meals or crafts are nice but if it gets to the stage where I feel I am “doing” the liturgical year rather than living it, if it’s another item on my to do list that brings a feeling of being overwhelmed, then I know I need to keep it simpler. Just open the page and comment. Just add a picture to the centrepiece. Just pick which saints to celebrate, not try to do it al. That helps me.

      Thank you for commenting, love the conversation!

      1. got here from Pam’s….
        Oh my, Leonie
        between you and Pam – an epiphany! living v doing. I struggle with doing thinking that means I am living. Oh, much to think about before I head off to ‘plan’ Advent.
        Thank you both for your words of wisdom!

      2. I know! I think we can get all tied up with great ideas to so the liturgical year and miss out one the living. Of course we can get so busy that we miss both but I do think erring on the side of celebrating with simplicity and prayer provides an answer for me.

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