Prayers for the Poor Souls 

In the Catholic Church the month of November is dedicated to the Poor Souls in Purgatory. These almost-saints are on there way to heaven but need a little more purification before they can receive the beautific vision and be in the presence of God. They are helpless, in that, they can not even pray for themselves or others, but we have the ability and privilege to come to their aid. We can pray for these often forgotten souls and our prayers can help them be released from purgatory sooner!

The month of November is a wonderful time to begin the family devotion of remembering the Poor Souls in Purgatory throughout the day. Starting in November provides the opportunity for this practice to be easily continued into the new liturgical year during Advent. Traditionally, a bell would be rung as a reminder to pray for the Poor Souls an hour after the noon Angelus Bell. This practice can be revived in your domestic monastery by simply setting a daily alarm on your cell phone. Many of them come standard with a bell chime ringtone too. Another option for working these prayers into your family’s liturgy of life is to tack the prayers onto the end of the blessing before a particular meal each day. It is also a pious custom to pray for these faithfully departed when driving past a cemetery.

November also has two opportunities to offer a plenary indulgence for a Poor Soul. First if you visit a church on the Feast of All Souls and say the Our Father and Apostles Creed and second if you go pray at a cemetery any day during November 1st through 8th, with the usual requirements.

 

The following are the two Poor Souls prayers we use most often:

Requiem Aeternam
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen

St. Gertrude’s Prayer for the Holy Souls

(1000 souls released at every pious recitation)

Eternal Father, I offer You the most precious blood of thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, for those in my own home, and in my family. Amen.

 

 

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Music For HOBBIT Day

Happy Hobbit Day and the first day of Autumn!!

In remembrance of J.R.R. Tolkien today, our little hobbits will be enjoying all the comforts of home, “food and cheer and song.” I imagine food and cheer will be in abundance for many families’ Hobbit celebrations, but I would invite you to follow in Tolkien’s hairy footsteps and include the beauty of song as well.

Though J.R.R. Tolkien came from a family of piano manufacturers, he had little musical training. His love of music was not absent however. In one of his remaining letters to composer Carey Blyton, Tolkien confided, “Music gives me great pleasure and sometimes inspiration, but I remain in the position in reverse of one who likes to read or hear poetry but knows little of its technique or tradition, or of linguistic structure.” Despite his lack of talent for musical performance, thankfully Tolkien heeded the example of his literary mentor, George MacDonald, and filled his many stories with moving songs.

Although there is no officially written music for Tolkien’s Middle-Earth songs, in the same correspondence with Blyton, he was hopeful that his writings would one day excite the creation of musical compositions. Lucky for us, in 1967 these aspirations came to fruition.

The Road Goes Ever On is a song cycle in the ilk of Austrian, Romantic composer Franz Schubert. In collaboration, Donald Swann set seven of Tolkien’s poems, mostly from The Lord of the Rings. All of the pieces are lovely and worthy of a listen, but most intriguing to me is the fifth song, “Namárië,” based on a tune by Tolkien himself and sung in Elvish. The sixth song, “I Sit Beside the Fire” is another favorite taken from The Fellowship of the Ring.

Following Tolkein’s death, Donald Swann added two other songs, “Bilbo’s Last Song,” and a poem from The Silmarillion entitled “Lúthien Tinúviel.” Several others have also gone on to compose settings of “Bilbo’s Last Song.”

You can listen to The Road Goes Ever On as the original song cycle here:

This is “Bilbo’s Last Song” with a short introduction by Donald Swann:

How will your family be celebrating Hobbit Day? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Blessings,

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A Classical Eclipse Playlist

Since early recorded history the connection between music and the wonders of space has been documented. In Biblical times man was moved to song by God’s glory revealed in the heavens. The Greeks believed in the music of the spheres, that heavenly bodies produced an individual soundtrack all their own. Even throughout the present numerous composers have employed cosmic themes to spark their compositional creativity.

Continuing in this tradition, I have curated a playlist of classical music pieces, inspired by the sun and moon, for today’s Eclipse festivities. Y’all enjoy!

How May I Pray For You?

Before our baby is born in the next couple weeks, I wanted to pop in and ask if there were any prayer intentions of yours that I could be offering up during labor. It would be a delight to pray for you as it would give me a positive way to focus my attention through the pain. No prayer request is too small, so please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments below or if they are of a more sensitive nature feel free to email me through the contact page above.

Also, if you could spare a prayer for me and this upcoming birth, especially for peace over anxiety, I would greatly appreciate it!

Upon his arrival, I will be taking some time off from the blog to enjoy our squishy new baby, but I look forward to sharing some exciting new things with you here this fall.

Many Blessings,

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Music for the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene 


Today we commemorate St. Mary Magdalene, the Apostle to the Apostles. She was given that title as the first witness to Christ after He arose and the sharer of the good news of the Resurrection with the disciples. For our family’s festal concert hour tonight we will be listening to one of the few classical music works written in her honor. 

In April of 1873, French, Romantic composer Jules Massenet premiered his oratorio Marie-Magdeleine in Paris. Written in three parts, this little know oratorio recounts the final days leading to Christ’s Passion through their meeting after the Resurrection from St. Mary Magdalene’s point of view. Your family can listen along with us below. 

Babyproof Your Homeschool {Week 4}

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Week 4 – Baby Bric-a-brac

Week 4! I can’t believe we are here at the end of our eCourse. Thank you to everyone who took the time to work through this prep voyage with us! I have been so encouraged and blessed by all the feedback and wisdom shared in our Facebook group and pray this course has been a benefit to your family too.

If you are still working through the projects of each week or just now finding this course that is perfectly fine! You can refer back to the previous weeks all at the bottom of the Overview post here. If you want to share your progress with us over on Instagram, don’t forget to use the hashtag #babyproofyourhomeschool so we can see it.

Readying All The Baby Bric-a-brac

This week we will devote ourselves to the final preparations for baby’s arrival – locating and putting out all the everyday items that we will be using: clothes, swaddles, feeding supplies, etc. This is also when I complete gathering things for a hospital bag and complete any other priority projects that have been hanging over head. Because we never know when baby will decide to make his appearance, my intention is to make the last month or so of pregnancy as stress-free as possible by simply maintaining the systems previously set-up. In my experience, labor has been longer when I was worrying about the things undone and left waiting for me at home instead of just focusing on getting baby earth-side. Lastly, an enjoyable, memory-filled, worry-free time with your new squishy baby is what I pray for us all. The tasks on my final countdown include:

  • Get out all the stored or new baby clothes and linens, wash them, and put them away in their new home. Set aside baby’s first outfit during this time. For stubborn old stains I do an overnight soak with OxiClean then put the clothes out in the sun to dry.

  • While washing all the baby things, write down your laundry routine using the provided worksheet, in case you are blessed with help in that department. Post in a prominent place near your wash area.

  • Pack your hospital bag and put it in the car you will be taking.

  • Put a trash bag or dollar store shower curtain and a couple towels in the car as well, should your water break.

  • Place another dollar store shower curtain under your bedsheets to protect the mattress.

  • Put the final touches on you baby’s room or sleeping area.

  • If you will be using bottles, clean all the parts and arrange an easily accessible storage area for them. This may require clearing counter or cabinet space and relocating less often used items.

  • Like you did in your homeschool area, make little stations for baby gear like diapers and wipes at convenient places where you will be spending most of your time. Next to where baby will sleep or be fed are a couple to start with. The basket near my mama-bear chair for feedings also has other things I might need while nursing like water bottles, a bag of trail mix or granola, and a book. Tailor these stations to your personal tastes and preferences.

I can’t thank you enough for joining us for this eCourse! In the next week I will be sending out a super brief survey for participants to gather your honest thoughts. Those who complete the survey will be entered into a little give away. More details to come…

Finally, if you have any prayer requests you would like me to offer up for you during labor, please put them in the comments below or email me via the contact page above. It would be my pleasure to pray for your intentions!

Blessings,

Worksheet for Week 4:

(just click on the photo to download)

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Babyproof Your Homeschool {Week 3}

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Week 3 – Schoolroom Shire

We’ve made it to Week 3 and I’m so thankful to have you on this journey. If you are a mom who has only recently stumbled upon this course, welcome! Join us by visiting our  course introduction here and previous weeks of the course here and here.

I first came across the delightful phrase “schoolroom shire” in the classic primer from the 1870’s called Grammar-land. I’ve j’adored the Tolkien-esque moniker ever since. This week we will concentrate on two parts of our homeschools: where we educate and the curriculum we use to educate.

Setting Up Our Shires For Success

Last week when we focused on the home maintenance and the superficial cleaning of our homeschool areas. This week we will dig a little deeper into arranging those spaces to be as user-friendly during the newborn days as possible. These are some steps that I’ve found helpful:

  • Organize your schoolroom shire so that materials are easily accessible and you can easily find that you need.

  • Go ahead and physically babyproof this area. For us this just means keeping safe things in baby’s reach and placing questionable items higher up.

  • Gather the daily supplies you will need for baby while doing lessons. If I get up for a diaper or wipes then my little hobbits immediately scatter in search of a snack. Try to think of everything you could possibly need. Some of the staples in my basket are feeding supplies, diapers, wipes, and extra clothes.

  • Make a spot for baby to play and have toys available. We have a quilt or bouncer and later on an exersaucer as baby grows.

Determining Your Homeschool’s Essential Functional Level

With new baby, we scale our daily school requirements back to the basics or to what I call an Essential Functional Level. In our family that includes the Morning Liturgy we do year round, Read Alouds, Math, Reading, and Penmanship. Reading aloud fills a lot of the gaps until we gradually add back in everything else. It also has given our family some of its sweetest memories with all the kids snuggled up with the new baby as they listen. When my daughter was born last year, we read The Chronicles of Narnia and The Green Ember Series. This summer we started The Little Britches Series. Other good options are The All Of A Kind Family Series, The Little House Series, and The Five Little Peppers Series. What series would you recommend for postpartum? 

To help you work out the Essential Functional Level for your homeschool I have provided 3 worksheets below. These are also useful for delegation if your husband or someone else will be providing help with teaching while you recover. Included are:

  • A Daily School Agenda Worksheet to be used for the whole family

  • A Daily School Agenda Worksheet to be used for each individual student

  • A Weekly School Agenda Worksheet to be used for each individual student

 

Have you joined our private Facebook group for this course yet? If you would like one-on-one troubleshooting help for specific questions our group is the place to be! You may join this group via the pop-up above or by emailing me through this site’s contact page. You are also invited to follow along and share your progress on Instagram using #babyproofyourhomeschool. I’m excited to get a glimpse of your journey! 

Blessings until next Wednesday,

3 Worksheets for Week 3:

(just click on the photo to download)

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