Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tears of Our Lady

In keeping with the theme of simple yet symbolic ideas for feast day observance, I want to share one for the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, September 15. The feast follows the Triumph of the Cross which is celebrated the previous day. Our Lady's sorrow was bittersweet. There is the great sorrow she felt as she watched her Son suffer and die on the cross. Yet there is sweet joy in the conquering of sin and death by His Death and Resurrection.

Images of Our Lady of Sorrows usually depict Mary with tears falling on her face. I associate her image with tears as much as will the heart pierced seven times. I wanted to incorporate something that was a tangible representation of the tears and 7 sorrows of Mary - lemon drops came to mind. They are composed of two extreme sensations- sweet and sour. They are sour like the sorrow yet also sweet like the joy of salvation. And the shape itself is somewhat reminscent of the a tear drop. You could also go with something bitter or salty. One option I though of would be to use almonds which also have that tear drop shape and are salty, like tears.

Give each child or family member 7 lemon drops (or salted almonds, etc.). With each morsel reflect on a sorrow of Christ's suffering mother before eating.

1. The prophecy of Simeon

Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." (Luke 2: 34-35)

2. The flight into Egypt

When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him." Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. (Matthew 2: 13-14)

3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple

After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. (Luke 2: 43-45)

4. The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross

A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. (Luke 23: 27)

5. The Crucifixion

There they crucified him. Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." (John 19: l8, 25-27)

6. The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross
Joseph of Arimathea, a distinguished member of the council, who was himself awaiting the kingdom of God, came and courageously went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus…Having bought a linen cloth, he took him down, wrapped him in the linen cloth. (Mark 15: 43, 46)

7. The burial of Jesus

Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by. (John 19: 41-42)
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  1. Wonderful! This is something my children will actually eat :-)

  2. What a great idea -- we're doing a chocolate hot fudge brownie in the crock pot -- after all, as you mention Mary's sorrow is a bittersweet sorrow!

    We'll have the kids narrate to dad tonight the 7 sorrows .. they'll each get two and I'll have T do a third!

  3. The lemon drops are a wonderful idea! Thank for sharing.


  4. This was such a beautiful idea. Even though it's a few days late, we will be doing this for the faith portion of our family night. Thanks for sharing such a lovely way to have the entire family participate in this feast day.