Archive for November, 2005

New Version of Firefox

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

Mozilla has released a new version of Firefox, its popular web browser. I use Firefox most of the time now instead of Explorer. It is not that I am against Microsoft or anything, it is just that I like Firefox better. It is quicker, more safe from hackers, and conforms to the W3 consortium’s html standards, unlike Explorer. Pages look like they are supposed to with Firefox. As an example, view this page with Firefox (or Netscape) and then with Explorer. Even my own page ChurchYear.net doesn’t look correct on Explorer. The gray bar on the left is supposed to stay put and function like a frame. This is not an ad for Firefox, but I do like it.

It’s Advent!

Sunday, November 27th, 2005

Christmas Spread

Finally, Advent is here! Christmas is just around the corner. Here is what I am doing that is Advent and Christmas related, as well as a few thoughts about the season:

I just got out my advent wreath. I made a new one, since my mom needed some greenery for a decoration, so I gave her my old piece of greenery. The new one is pictured below on the right. Unfortunately, I have to place it on a chair for lack of room, so the setting is hardly romantic!

– I also got a few holiday decorations up. The photo of them is above on the left. Notice the nativity set, minus the baby Jesus and wise men. Also a few gingerbread folks are hanging around a gingerbread house. I didn’t want to get them too close to the Nativity set, because the Bible doesn’t say anything about gingerbread men being present at Christ’s birth. There is a candle, a few tart burners, and a little glass holy family icon.

– Can’t decide what to get that theologian friend or spouse of yours for Christmas? How about the Early Church Fathers 38 Volume Set? While the translation is old, the scholarship a bit out-of-date, not to mention a strong anti-Catholic and anti-Orthodox bias to the notes, the whole set is just over $200 right now.

– I just got out some of the Holiday CDs (I say "holiday" not to be PC, but because the CDs are technically a mix of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany music). Some of the artists: The Crash Test Dummies, Rod McKuen, New Christy Minstrels, Neil Diamond, Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Johnny Cash, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and more. Enjoy Advent!

Advent Wreath

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24th, 2005

Thanksgiving Table

Happy Thanksgiving to all my blog readers. While we should reflect on what we are thankful for every day, Thanksgiving is a time set aside to specifically give thanks.

I started the day with the Eucharist, the ultimate Thanksgiving, partaking of the body and blood of Christ. Even the greatest turkey and dressing pales in comparison to this. However, there is no rule you only have to have one Thanksgiving…I will be eating the turkey and dressing soon, with my family and girlfriend.

I urge everyone to reflect on what you are thankful for, and show your thankfulness to the important people in your life.

Image on left: our Thanksgiving table before dinner

Upcoming Church Holidays

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

Advent begins on Sunday, marking the beginning of the new Church Year. December is a fairly busy time in the Church Year, and besides Advent includes The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Christmas, and the Feast of the Holy Family.

I always have loved Advent and Christmas. Growing up these had profound meaning, and made the rest of the year seem rather plain. It seemed like that at Advent and Christmas, it was OK to get liturgical, and embrace tradition. I always joke (although there is a large amount of truth here) that I became a liturgical Christian because I wanted it to be like Advent and Christmas every day of the year.

On ChurchYear.Net, in addition to the above links, we have: Advent Prayers, Advent Hymns, Advent Wreath Prayers and Readings, Christmas Prayers and Holy Family Feast Prayers. Like I said…it’s a busy time.

Image on left: Advent Wreath, taken by me.

Why Coffee is Good!

Monday, November 21st, 2005

Coffee and Catholic statue

Jonathan tells us why coffee is a pope-approved drink! In case you still aren’t sure that drinking the sweet, dark liquid is fully compatible with the Catholic Church, this image on the right will leave no doubt! Notice how St. Francis gives his approval to my cup of hot coffee.

Right now at home, I am drinking the cheap stuff with Ginger Bread creamer, and when I manage to stop at a Speedway, I am getting hooked on their Colombian with Eggnog Creamer.

All Souls Day

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

Today is All Souls Day, when we remember and pray for the souls of the faithful departed. While most liturgical Christians like Catholics, Orthodox, and Anglicans, pray for the dead in their services, All Souls Day is set aside as a special day for the purpose.

One good devotion is to pray the Office of the Dead, which is found in most Catholic Liturgy of the Hours books, or make up a list of departed friends and relatives, and after each name, pray the prayer below (Prayer from All Souls Day Prayers). This is a good way to remember your relatives as well. You may also want to think of a memory of them while you pray.

English
Eternal Rest grant to them (him/her),
O Lord,
and let perpetual light
shine upon them (him/her).
May they rest in peace.

In Latin:
Requiem aeternam dona eis (ei),
Domine,
et lux
perpetua luceat eis (ei).
Requiescant (-at) in pace. Amen.

Happy All Saints Day!

Tuesday, November 1st, 2005

A blessed Catholic All Saints Day to everyone! All Saints is the feast when we celebrate all the Christian saints, some well-known to us, and some known only to God. All Saints is a holy day of obligation, meaning all Catholics are required to attend Mass, unless a good reason prevents them from doing so. Charles over at Land of Hope and Glory has written two excellent posts explaining the concept of a Holy Day of Obligation:

Also, our Online Church Year and Liturgical Dictionary gives the basic definition and a list of all of these days.