Month two of my 2019 New Year’s resolution, and I have to say, I am totally loving it! Just as praying with the Sunday readings before Mass helps me participate better in the actual sacrifice, planning ways to bring the liturgy into our home prior to each month is bearing all kinds of fruit. I’m making all kinds of new saint friends!
Plans for February
Feb. 2 – Presentation of Jesus
During this visit to the Temple, the prophet Simeon says two things which have influenced my choices for how to celebrate. First, he proclaims that the babe will be “a light for revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2:32); secondly he tells Mary, “…and a sword will pierce through your own soul also” (Luke 2:35)
- Because of Simeon’s prophecy, Feb. 2 is also known as “Candlemas.” Parishioners are encouraged to bring all the candles they plan to use within their home that year (for religious purposes) to Mass to have them blessed. Our parish doesn’t distribute this optional blessing. Instead, we will eat dinner and say family prayers by candlelight, and continue to utilize our indoor string-lights for the rest of the winter months (please note: some may call them Christmas lights but I’m re-branding them for our purposes).
- The Prophecy of Simeon is one of the Seven Sorrows of Mary. The more I learn about this devotion, the more I love it. As part of our nightly family prayer, we will read this Gospel passage aloud, spend sometime meditating on it — specifically Mary’s sorrow — and we will close with our daily decade of the rosary.
I’m sure our traditions for this day will change over time — especially as Imogene gets older and we need to do a little more to involve her. For now, this is what will work for us, and we can easily alter things from year to year if need be.
Feb. 5 – St. Agatha
As part of her martyrdom, Agatha had her breasts cut off (St. Peter came and healed them though) and also suffered severe burns. For this reason, she is the patroness of those with breast cancer, as well as victims of fire. People do all sorts of creative things to celebrate her feast, like making cinnamon rolls or two loaves of bread (representing her breasts) and going over fire plans as a family. With her feast falling on a workday, I most likely won’t be able to bake anything (hopefully this will change someday!). Chris and I will most likely just bring these specific intentions to our nightly prayers: for the restoration of all those suffering with breast cancer, for firefighters and burn victims, and for the protection of our family from suffering in this way.
Feb. 6 – St. Paul Miki & Companions
Neither Chris nor I know much about this group of martyrs. We plan to educate ourselves and do a little reading as part of our morning prayer that day. Later that evening, we’ll have ourselves a little date night at the Sushi restaurant downtown.
Feb. 8 – St. Josephine Bakhita
I found this delicious looking African-inspired meal that I’ve added to our dinner menu for the week (maybe I’ll let you know how it goes via facebook/instagram documentation). Our nightly prayer intentions will also include all victims of human trafficking, for an end to this form of modern slavery, as well for the conversion of all those inflicting the injustice on these men, women and children.
Feb. 11 – Our Lady of Lourdes
A feast that holds a special place in my heart … I’ll be doing “the usual” things I do for Marian Feasts, including dressing in blue and making blueberry pancakes for breakfast. I’m still looking for an easy-and-relatively-healthy French recipe that I can make for dinner. We’ll take a sip of Lourdes water at nightly prayers and pray especially for all those people in our lives who are in need of healing.
Feb. 13 – ‘Galentine’s Day’ Fast
Last week I shared my plans to fast for all my single gal pals on this day. Obviously it’s not officially liturgical, but I thought I’d include it in case anyone wanted to join me! Valentine’s Day is often a difficult day for many… even if they really don’t care about the day itself…
Feb. 14 – Sts. Cyril & Methodius
I have no ideas… do you?
Feb. 21 – St. Peter Damien
same as for Sts. Cyril & Methodius… I’m coming up blank!
Feb. 22 – St. Peter’s Chair
When the baby is older, I’d really like to make some candy Chairs of St. Peter with her and any future siblings. For now, we’ll have to forego it because Chris has no sweet teeth and I have no self-control; this makes for a huge caloric intake on my part if candy is in the house (no joke, I’ll eat it all). Instead, we’ll pray for Pope Francis during our nightly prayers, as well as for any future popes.
Feb. 23 – St. Polycarp
I’m a huge fan of puns but have no taste for carp, so instead of carp I use cod in Chris’ favorite fish and chips which will be served for dinner. I might even bake a couple loaves of bread since it’s the weekend and I’ll have the time (in honor of the little boy who provided the disciples with the fishes and the loaves). If we had a fireplace, I’d imagine we’d light a fire that night since the Romans tried to burn this saint to death.
Now It’s Your Turn
Start your planning for February this week! If you have a planner from Blessed is She –or any other Catholic resource– the first step is already done for you. If you’re like me and went for the $5 option from T.J. Maxx, you’ll need to write in all the Liturgical feasts yourself. The good news is, I’ve created a printout for you. It’s free and will come straight to your inbox every month if you enter your email here.
Additionally, if you’ve been holding off on getting a planner and had been eyeing one of the ones from BIS, this is your lucky day! Planners are currently 20% off with the code 2019planner until they’re all gone! You can get the mini here and the full size here.
Happy planning… but more importantly, happy feasting!