The Narrative Behind the Nativity Scene

Holy Family Nativity

When I was a little girl, my mom, grandma, and aunt attended a weekly ceramics class at a studio located in the basement of a woman’s home. The studio provided the space, materials, equipment, and a few helpful artistic suggestions along the way. Given she was a young stay-at-home mom to three children, the classes provided my mom with a welcome respite and outlet to share her creative gifts. The weekly outings also allowed her to have special time with my grandma and aunt. After class, they … [Read more...]

Through Our Lens: Love

Advent - Christmas Porch Lights

What's the Friday Photo Challenge word for the day? Here's a clue. How about an "all-things-we-LOVE-right-now-at-DasHausSchmidt" 7 Quick Takes? --- 1 --- As crazy challenging and exhausting the adjustment to three has been for me, I’m encouraged daily to see the genuine interest Lucy and Jude take in their new baby sister. It started at the hospital when a thoughtful nurse suggested waiting to give Lydia her first bath until her older siblings were available to help, which they were … [Read more...]

Does Your Parish Celebrate Bambinelli Sunday?

Bambinelli Sunday

Each year on the Third Sunday of Advent children gather with their families in St. Peter's Square in Rome for "Bambinelli Sunday." It's an Italian Catholic family tradition in which handcrafted babies or "bambinelli" destined to represent the Christ child in the family's Nativity scene are blessed by the pope. The charming new children's book Bambinelli Sunday: A Christmas Blessing by Amy Welborn tells the story of one little boy, Alessandro, and his journey to St. Peter's Square to have his … [Read more...]

Pray, Work, Rest & Play: Advent, Week 1

Advent-Week1

"Sister Maria Assumpta walked up to the board and put up a basic compass shape. Rather than north, south, east, and west, she replaced them with work, rest, play, and pray. Very simply, she told us, "Your lives should always live in a balance with these four things." Welcome back to our weekly series --- Pray, Work, Rest & Play --- where we share a bit about how we're striving to incorporate an order, a rule of sorts, to our daily routine here at Das Schmidt Haus. A routine that organically … [Read more...]

Go Negative This Advent

fedex01x

It’s Advent, kids. Time to go negative. Yep, negative. Let me offer a defense. Lindon Leader’s design for Federal Express is considered one of the most creative logos ever designed. It's famous not for what's there, but for what isn't. The design effectively uses the negative space, or empty space, between the "E" and the "X" to form a hidden right-pointing arrow. Like this. See it? It's rather obvious but given our eyes tend to focus on positive spaces, hidden shapes … [Read more...]

Giving Epiphany a Little Respect

Source: extraordinarymomsnetwork.wordpress.com/

Epiphany is the Rodney Dangerfield of Christian holidays. It gets no respect; most of us are done celebrating Christmas by New Year’s Day. However, beginning with the Annunciation, so much of the liturgical calendar is pointing directly at Epiphany. Let’s take a look at how we get there in 10 easy steps. March 25, Solemnity of Annunciation of the Lord: At the hour of midnight, while absorbed in prayer, the Blessed Virgin Mary receives a visit from the Archangel Gabriel. “Hail, full … [Read more...]

The 7th Great Antiphon: O Emmanuel — God With Us

O Emmanuel - God With Us

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” The O Antiphons reflections end today with O Emmanuel or God with us. Read more about the rich history of all seven O Antiphons, a great treasure of the Advent season: The Great Antiphons & the Rich History of O Come, O Come Emmanuel. December 23 Antiphon O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our … [Read more...]

The 6th Great Antiphon: O Rex Gentium — King of All the Nations

O Rex Gentium - King of All Nations

Christ is the cornerstone -- a sure foundation The O Antiphons reflections continue with O Rex Gentium or O King of All Nations. Read more about the rich history of all seven O Antiphons, a great treasure of the Advent season: The Great Antiphons & the Rich History of O Come, O Come Emmanuel. December 22 Antiphon O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust. Symbol: The Crown … [Read more...]

The 5th Great Antiphon: O Oriens — O Dayspring

O Oriens - O Rising Dawn

Christ is the radiant dawn who brings eternal life The O Antiphons reflections continue with O Oriens or O Dayspring. Read more about the rich history of all seven O Antiphons, a great treasure of the Advent season: The Great Antiphons & the Rich History of O Come, O Come Emmanuel. December 21 Antiphon: O Oriens, O Dayspring O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death. Symbol: The sun with rays: just as the … [Read more...]