Thursday, November 15, 2018

St. Cecilia Biscuits & Jam Session

This clever St. Cecilia feast day idea, from guest contributor, Rebecca Collazo, also uses a play on words - suggesting a jam and biscuit bar for refreshments to a musical jam session. Rebecca is a homeschool mom to four wonderful kids who shares that she loves reading to her children, having poetry tea times, teaching writing at a Catholic co-op, and traveling to places of literary and Catholic significance. Thanks again, Rebecca, for sharing this idea for a fun gathering of musicians and food event to honor St. Cecilia. Hopefully this gives you enough time to think about having a jam session for St. Cecilia sometime next week.

My daughter Celia, her name a variant of Cecilia, is a wonderfully talented singer, pianist, and budding self-taught ukulele player. It makes my own heart sing that she is so naturally gifted in an area that I myself have zero talent. Who knew when we chose the name that it would work out so perfectly? I like to think that St. Cecilia, patron saint of musicians, has a little something to do with that!

St. Cecilia’s Feast Day is November 22. She was an early Christian virgin and martyr. She was promised in marriage but told her new husband that she had made a vow of virginity to God and had an angel protecting her. It is said that she sang this promise in her heart to God, hence the connection to music. Her husband wanted to see this angel, and she told him to be baptized by the pope, and he would be able to see her protector. He did what she asked and was indeed able to see the angel. He honored her wishes to remain a virgin. His brother followed his lead and was baptized, and they went on to bury many of the Christians being killed in Rome. They were ultimately executed for not worshipping the Roman gods. Cecilia is said to have converted many with her witness, and as many as four hundred souls were baptized by Pope Urban because of her evangelization. Eventually, she was condemned to death, but when they attempted to behead her, she survived for three days. Her heroic faith is inspiring indeed! Learn a bit about her with your kids by reading Cecilia: Singing and Sharing the Faith or by listening to Glory Stories--Saint Cecilia: The Saint of the Catacombs

We have heard it said, “To sing is to pray twice.” Why not gather loved ones to do just that? To celebrate this patroness of music, this year my family plans to host a St. Cecilia Jam Session. Since her feast day falls on Thanksgiving this year, I feel like she would approve of celebrating a day early, or even squeezing in a little breakfast fun on Thanksgiving morning with relatives already gathered for the big feast). We will invite a few families to join us to perform on their instruments of choice, sing praise songs together, or maybe even bust out the karaoke machine for the bravest among us! My plan is to begin by praying the Prayer of St. Cecilia, read a short book about her life, and offer friends refreshments as we listen to the performances. And what more perfect snack at a jam session than jam itself! I’ll spread out a simple biscuit bar with a variety of jams, jellies, and spreads for folks to choose from. Coffee, tea, and juice will be the beverage offerings, and if I’m feeling fancy, we might have some fruit, too. My friends are always more than willing to bring things to share, so I may ask them to bring their favorite jam, fruit, or biscuits, but honestly, this is a pretty simple spread, so I may even be able to pull it off without too much hassle! True confessions: my biscuits will be of the Pillsbury variety, and I can assure you none of my people will be disappointed. Insert Dough Boy giggle here.

Simple celebrations are the best way to keep up with these feast days and to keep my own heart singing. My hope is that by creating these special memories with my children, they’ll really appreciate the Liturgical Year, and all the richness that it offers us. And that, my friends, really is my jam!

St. Cecilia, Patron of Musicians,

Pray for us!

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