Thursday, July 23

Mary Magdalene Day

I would love it if anyone who grew up in a family that lived out the Episcopal or Catholic church year would let me know what that looked like.  Having grown up in a conservative church with little sense of the church year (we celebrated Christmas and Easter and maybe did something for advent), I would love to have more ideas on what this might look like.  I love the planning and figuring out, the gathering of ideas and information.  I'm happy to creatively come up with what I can, but it would be fun to hear more traditional ways of doing things.

Today is the feast day of Mary Magdalene and I'd love to share what I've learned about her and her feast day.

There are several Marys in the New Testament: Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary of Bethany (sister of Martha and Lazarus), the Other Mary (mother of ) and Mary Magdalene.  



Mary Magdalene is best known for being the first to see and hear Jesus after his resurrection.  "Mary" he said and she knew it was Jesus.  She has been called the Apostle of the Apostles.  She was with Jesus through his earthly ministry and witness the resurrection.  

There are differing views on which Mary doused Jesus' feet with perfume and wiped them with her hair.  Traditionally this act was also attributed to Mary Magdalene.

So in preparing for the day I found that Mary Magdalene's symbols are a box of ointment to represent the feet washing story and a red egg.  There is a story surrounding the red egg in tradition, but most importantly the red represents the blood of Jesus, the egg symbolizes new life in Christ and the cracking of the eggs represents the breaking of the gates of Hades and Christ's victory.   I gave the boys wooden eggs to paint red (looses the cracking portion, but is a nice symbol.)  Next year I want to save my onion skins to make red boiled eggs for part of a meal on this day (see tutorial here)

I tried to find a Madeleine pan, but I was unsuccessful.  A pan is now on my wishlist and in the meantime, I chose to make rose cupcakes.   The name "Mary" and roses are linked in my brain.  Traditionally the rose is a symbol of Mary the Mother of Jesus not Mary Magdalene, but we're going with it and saying that it symbolizes the garden where Mary encountered Jesus after His resurrection. 

I used a photocopy of Fra Angelico's painting Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) and this tutorial to make a self standing image of Mary and Jesus (I actually made three to figure out the process, but the larger ones on darker wood didn't turn out nearly as well.)  This is a fun way to bring great art into our celebrations.  I would love to purchase real icons of all the saints, but we'll be building that collection very slowly as finances allow.  This is a great 'in the meantime'.

1 comment:

Julia Romeiser said...

Emily, I grew up in a Catholic home but unfortunately I think much of the "old ways" of living out the liturgical year have been lost over the last few generations. That said, there is definitely a wave of interested faithful, practicing Christians looking to revive those traditions. I can point you to some resources! If you can get a copy of Maria Von Trapp's book "Around the Year with the Trapp Family" it's a treasure trove of how her family lived out the liturgical year in their home. Also, Mary Reed Newland's book "The Year and Our Children" probably has much of what you're looking for though I haven't yet read it myself. Lastly, there are a number of blogs that discuss this topic including "Like Mother, Like Daughter" and "Catholic All Year", though the latter is more so the mother's modern day approach to implementing feast days and the liturgical year in her home.

I love looking through your ideas for the liturgical year, which are beautifully and lovingly crafted. Thank you for sharing on the www!