Two New Pages Related To Prayer

As many of you know, we operate a sister site, ChurchYear.Net.

We have been adding prayers and other resources since we began in 2004 to that site. Now we get over a million visitors a year that are looking for resources related to prayer, worship, and – most of all – Christian holidays. Our collection of resources has grown significantly and we are happy so many people enjoy the resources provided.

We recently added two new pages, chock full of prayers. They are prayers for healing and prayers for strength. These prayers are based on Scripture, and some come from The Book of Common Prayer (re-appropriated for Catholics as The Book of Divine Worship). We hope you enjoy these pages.

Also, have a great last day of Christmas, and a blessed New Year from ChurchYear.Net and us.

What is Gaudete Sunday?

We are almost finished with Advent and the Christmas season is upon us soon. I am not sure how many days left until Christmas, but just pull aside the nearest child, and they can tell you!

Today is the third Sunday of Advent, which is also called Gaudete Sunday. The liturgical color is rose (pink), and many Catholics wonder what has changed during this third week of Lent.

Be sure to check out the article What is Gaudete Sunday for more information.

Lent and Gratitude

I don’t post much these days, because as a husband, father, teacher, and now moving into other ventures, I am pretty busy. However, I am always grateful for the Season of Lent (info here), which always reminds me of the importance of slowing down, and taking inventory of ways I fall short of what God desires.

Lately, I have focused on gratitude and simplicity. As one of my Lenten disciplines, every day I am faithfully listing five things (including people, events, etc) I am grateful for. I have noticed that it is hard to be angry at what you are grateful for. It also makes me appreciate what I have as opposed to desiring more and more stuff that won’t make me happy.

Since 2009, in my classroom, I have had students list things they are thankful for, in addition to prayer requests. I am amazed as I see their minds working to come up with the things in their life that are good. At first it is kind of difficult for them, but once they get started, they are reminded of the hundreds of people, places, events, and things that are blessings in their lives. All of these blessings are all around us, yet we ignore them mindlessly. If you are looking for something helpful this Lent, try listing things you are grateful for each day.

The Liturgical Busy Season

Well, summer is officially over, which also means so is the vacation from Church. I’m not advocating such a position, of course, just noting that ecclesial matters tend to slow down in the summer as does attendance.

At my parish, the schedule changes, the choir takes a break, and mass has a more laid back feel. I don’t think we help matters by calling most of the summer Sundays ordinary time, even if it has nothing to do with being “ordinary.”

As we say goodbye to the heat, picnics, and ice cream, it’s time to welcome the liturgical busy season. In the coming months we have a lot to do liturgically. Of course, there’s All Saints Day, All Soul’s, Thanksgiving, Advent, Immaculate Conception, and we can’t forget Christmas.

And, at least at my parish, there seems to be a greater level of seriousness and solemnity, as well as attendance, that comes with the end of summer. Of course, I still hope we can keep the ice cream.

Christmas in July

With July almost here, the thoughts of retailers turn to Christmas. This, of course, bugs me to no end. When I was younger you wouldn’t even get Christmas stuff out until Thanksgiving. Then it was pushed back to Halloween. Now, there’s no need for a Christmas in July type sale because some stores have Christmas stuff out in July! We’ve turned a feast day and holy day of obligation (Christmas) into a giant sale that starts in July. I guess it gives the Church a few more months to start explaining the tenuous Santa Jesus connection.

Online Prayer Book Shaping Up

The ChurchYear.Net Online Prayer Book is shaping up, with many new original and classic prayers being added regularly. Our attempt is to provide a large collection of online prayers for a variety of uses. A few prayers already up include Prayer for Graduation, Ave Maria, and a Christmas Dinner Prayer.

Also on ChurchYear.Net Basic

Need a prayer to start the day? Check out A Prayer for the Day. This is a great way to focus your day on what matters. We also have information up for next year’s Easter, a simple page about the date of Easter, for Easter 2012.

Introducing ChurchYear.Net Basic

Our sister site, ChurchYear.Net has become one of the foremost sites for church year related information. We offer a lot of material that is comprehensive and academic. In an effort to also provide simpler material, we are introducing ChurchYear.Net Basic. So far we have the following pages and prayers. We have information about Easter Eggs (and the Christian legend behind them), the Christmas Tree (yes, it too has a Christian legendary background), and information about what a fast day is, as well as a feast day. While it may seem unnecessary, we can’t assume everybody knows even our most basic terms (as I often find in class). We also have a Prayer for School Bus Drivers, a Palm Sunday Prayer, a Good Friday Prayer, and also a Holy Thursday Prayer. Check them out!