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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Welcome, Holy Week!

Holy Week is here!!!!  Traditionally, around our house, we have an amended school week.  Sometimes I give the kids off, but this year, we are minimizing a little, yet still doing some school, mostly math and some narrations for Holy Week.

We started off this week (yesterday) with reading about the Passover in the Children's Bible and the kids gave me a written narration.  We also read  about the Passover meal in The Four Questions and discussed how Christ, on Holy Thursday, was celebrating the Passover with His apostles at the Last Supper.  In reading this book, I was struck by the fact that for those of the Jewish faith, the Passover meal is a way for them to remember and participate in the suffering and redemption from slavery of their ancestors.  It is more than a commemoration, it is the way they "live" their history.  It struck me, too, that Christ, when He became our Paschal Lamb, He left us a way to remember and live His suffering, passion and death.  He gave us Himself in the Holy Eucharist.  We celebrate this at every Mass.  How blessed are we!

For music, I chose to study Tomas Luis de Victoria.  At first, you may wonder who he is . . . I sure didn't hear of him either, until I was trolling the web for music that pertained to Holy Week.  There I came across something I had only heard of, but didn't really know what it was - - Tenebrae.  What was that????  Tenebrae is Latin for darkness or shadows and the name given to special prayers that are said on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday (before the vigil, I guess).  Some churches have special services.  What I believe, if I understand it correctly, is that the prayers that are said during a Tenebrae service are part of the Divine Office -- traditionally said at a time when most of the congregation would be asleep or not participating.  The Tenebrae service moved the prayers to a more suitable time for devotion so that the congregation could participate.  Victoria was a composer and priest during the reformation era and actually was part of the counter-reformation movement.  He came from Avila, same as St. Teresa de la Cruz, more commonly known as St. Teresa of Avila.  He studied in Rome and was even in contact with St.Philip Neri.  All of his music was composed for spiritual purposes, some of which are the Tenebrae responsorials that a choir would sing during these special prayer times.  The interesting thing is that my mother-in-law's church is having a Tenebrae service.  So, hopefully, we will be able to attend and perhaps they will have some music.

For art, we read The Bird's Gift:  A Ukrainian Easter Story.  As part of the art, I gave the kids some coloring pages from Learn Pysanky.  They are also getting to design and make their own Pysanky Eggs.  The process is easier than I thought and so much fun to do.  The design process can be complicated and some are very intricate. I am letting the kids make their own designs with the instruction that somehow it had to be tied to Easter (so as to prevent Pokemon eggs and so forth!).  The great thing is that the supplies are not expensive and the dye can be saved for 6 months to a year.  I was thinking it would be cool to make some around Christmas time as ornaments.  I will post pictures once the kids are done with their eggs. 

Felted Eggs
For crafting, I am in the process of making felted eggs.  Crunchy Catholic Momma has a link to a tutorial on making felted eggs using plastic eggs as molds.  I had also seen these on another blog for use as part of Montessori (used for sorting and counting) and was wondering how easily they could be made.  Well, the long and short of it is that it isn't tooooo hard, but I did some searching and found a link to a U-Tube video where the woman was covering rocks with felt -- rocks - - plastic eggs (almost the same, right???).  So I watched the video and how she did it.  I must say that I was much more successful employing a combination of both techniques.  Between the two, I got the idea that thin layers were preferable, so I layered and worked and layered some more and worked - - about three layers in all.  But with the video, I used the idea of using netting or tulle to wrap around the wool-covered egg to keep the wool in place.  In doing so, I could submerse the egg, rather than dribble water and I didn't have to worry about the wool moving around so much - - so thanks, Crunchy Catholic Momma for a great craft idea.  And thanks to "sockmonkeyhead" for the U-Tube video that made this craft easier and perhaps a little more child friendly.  While they dry, I am already thinking about what I can hide in them!

Other than math, that is the beginning of our school week.  Hope you are all having a Blessed Holy Week. 

God Bless,


For those who are local to the Hagerstown area, Howard's Art Supplies on Dual Highway sells Psyanky Egg making materials.  At this time they are on display in the front of the store.  If you go any other time of year, you may want to ask where they keep them.

Also, wool roving is not something that can be picked up at AC Moore or Michaels.  But, there is a lovely little store in Waynesboro, just across the state line off of Lietersburg Pike called The Knitting Cottage.  They had quite a selection of colors available and if I had more money, I would have invested in the purple and red and blue and . . . . well, you get my drift.  Great place to go if you are looking for specialty yarns, as well and the staff is very helpful.

In addition, the "sockmonkeyhead" lady is Terri Pike from  I haven't had time to peruse her entire website, yet, but it looks very interesting and the aforementioned U-Tube video was quite helpful.  I am sure I can interest my Andrea and Jenna in felting rocks!

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