Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Saints Go Marching In!

 I am very pleased to present our family's collection of peg people Saints! Last Christmas, over a year ago, I set myself a goal. I wanted to develop an overarching yearly rhythm that included not only the natural rhythms of the earth, but also the liturgical rhythms of the Church year. I was feeling a need for a greater differentiation between times of fasting and times of celebration. I felt like our consumption of sweets on a day to day basis was a little out of hand. I wanted to develop a seasonal rhythm that had breath to it; time for feasting and time for appreciating that we even have the ability to feast. I wish I could say that I had immediately implemented some great charitable plan to share our riches with others. My face is burning a little to admit that that didn't even occur to me. I guess that might be because I started by identifying the feasts, rather than the fasts.

As a family we have very organically begun identifying the Saints with whom we have a connection. I posted a litany of the Saints in our kitchen starting with those whose names we share. The second verse (so to speak) are those Saints whose patronage we have specifically asked for through confirmation, and those Saints whose memorials are the same as our birthdays. Then come all the Saints for whom we have a particular devotion. This litany has become a great help to us when things are down right horrid right around the pre-dinner melt down. I find that by singing the litany every so quietly it really does help calm us all down, and it helps me focus on what needs to get done to move things along. Since these Saints' days fall throughout the year I used them as a guide to help form the yearly rhythm that I was seeking.

I wanted the rhythm to be visible to B who was only just two at the time. I didn't want to say much about it to B, I just wanted to live the rhythm in such a way that he would feel it. I hope that by hearing the stories of these Saints year after year, they will become as familiar to us as aunts and uncles. So, through the course of the year I made these peg dolls. They appear on the seasonal table on their feast day. Since we like them, they usually stick around until it is the next Saint's turn. They are just the right size to be held in the hand, and didn't take so long to make that if they get a little frayed around the edges I don't mind. That is really the extent of the form these feasts took this past year. There are many rich traditions associated with celebrating Saints days. I am looking forward to bringing those traditions into our home. And, now that I have a little practice with this overarching yearly rhythm, I can work on cultivating the richness of the fasting times too. : )

An Angel and St. Micheal the Archangel

St. Brigid of Ireland, St. Patrick of Ireland, St. Nicholas, St. Martin of Tours, St. Valentine

St. John the Baptist
Sts. Joachim and Anna (with young St. Mary)
The Holy Family

The Three Wise Kings

The Host of Heaven
 I am flattered to say that these little peg dolls were so admired that it was requested that I make a tutorial. You can find Part One here!

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