Friday, March 21, 2014

St Joseph Altar 2014

Virtual St. Joseph Altar
Unfailing Petition to St. Joseph:

Holy St. Joseph, Spouse of Mary,
be mindful of me, pray for me, watch over me.
Guardian of the paradise of the new Adam, 
provide for my temporal wants.
Faithful guardian of the most precious of all treasures,
I beseech thee to bring this matter to a happy end,
if it be for the glory of God,
and the good of my soul.

Note for all my Protestant friends: When Catholics pray to the Saints, they are asking them to intercede to God on their behalf.  We believe that the Saints in Heaven spend their eternity praying for us still here on earth and glorifying God with praise.

St. Joseph Altar Cake 2014

For our second annual altar we ordered our cake ahead of time from Aubrey's Bakery. This picture of St. Joseph is laminated so we can reuse it for future altars. The cake was half chocolate and half white. I LOVE Aubrey's frosting because it's not too sweet or too thick. It's a very light whipped frosting.

This year we held our altar at our church, St. Mary's Byzantine in Weirton, WV. We still kept it friends only.  When we looked “ahead” on the calendar and realized that we need to complete several projects during Memorial Day weekend we decided to invite all the young Byzantine families that we know, either from our church or some of the other close by churches. (Usually we have a picnic for all the young Byzantine families during Memorial Day weekend.) Unfortunately many of them already had plans so we still only fed 4 other families for a total of thirty-one on Sunday, March 16th.  We held the altar early since the actual feast day is our busiest day of the school and work week.   Jason kindly reminded me that last year we only fed twenty-two so that is a fifty percent increase when I was sad that the altar was so small.

Here is this year's altar in the church with partially eaten cake:  (We had fed our church members cake after the morning's Divine Liturgy.  I  tried to be careful cutting around the picture and words so they were intact for the altar):

2014 St. Joseph Altar at St. Mary's Byzantine Church, Weirton, WV

Close Up of Statues and Candles:

Holy Family Statue on Top Tier of Altar,
Infant Jesus of Prague, St. Joseph Icon and Our Lady of Victory Statue on 2nd Tier
Stations of the Cross Icon on 1st Tier

Here you can see our loaves of Italian Bread and 2 of the salads that had been brought.  We had one Greek one and one Artichoke:

Normally a St. Joseph Altar does not have meat because the Sicilian peasants really didn't eat meat back when the famine occurred.  We had a 23 lb turkey though that we had bought for the Epiphany party we never got to have due to coming down with the flu.  We served turkey and pumpkin soup.  Another family brought a lemon blueberry bundt cake.  There was also a pan of pasta with sausage that we forgot to take a picture of:

Here you can see the beautiful table runner and our "bouquet" of fresh oregano, along with the Stations of the Cross Icon:

So, Jason and I had forgotten to downsize our cake order a few days before the event when we realized that we were going to have less than 50 people and we also forgot to defrost the turkey ahead of time.  We cooked the turkey frozen according to these instructions, but it actually was ready five hours before the start of the party, so then we basted non-stop to try to keep it from drying out.  We also forgot to call the person in charge of doughnuts to let them know that we were going to serve they gave us leftover doughnuts to put on the altar.  The turkey was "falling off the bone" by being cooked frozen in the roasting pan with the lid on it-basically it acted as a slow cooker that kept all the moisture inside.  We also had (store bought) pizzelles and home made anginettis (Italian lemon cookies with Easter colored frosting and sprinkles.):

In this last picture of the altar we have our bowl of blessed fava beans and fried bread crumbs out to put on the pasta.  Another family arrived during the blessing of the altar and added a 3rd lettuce salad and bowl of fresh fruit:

We served wine, sparkling cider/juice and water for this year's drinks.

Here some of the children are watching Joey play a video game:

Here is Libby "cheesing" by the cake with one of her small stuffed puppy dogs before we served the church members cake:

I bought cheap play dough for the kids to play with.  Here we see most of the older teens getting their play dough fix as well.  Note for next year: either make home made play dough or buy the good stuff.  This cheap play dough smelled REALLY bad:

Here Libby and Anna are being amused by one of their favorite teenage friends:

Every time we turned around Anna was "attached" to him in one way or another:

We also printed several sets of St. Joseph coloring pages.  Here is Libby still having fun after being at church for almost five hours since Divine Liturgy was at 8:30am and the dinner started at 11am.  (We were going into hour six by the time we got everything cleaned.):

Libby and Anna went around handing everyone their blessed fava beans before they left and we also gave out some St. Joseph prayer cards.

One of the families already notified us that the day after they completed their
Novena to St. Joseph the self-employed father got a new client.  Talk about fast work St. Joseph!

Since we organized the St. Joseph Altar as a potluck and tried to use a Google on-line document for sign-ups we actually didn't have much for food leftovers-a small bag of pasta, salad and turkey is all we took home.  There were very few cookies left, but we still had a lot of cake leftover.  We have good friends that were not able to make it to the potluck because they were working at the
 Friendship Room Warming Center.  We were lucky to be able to donate the leftover cake for their use instead of having it go to waste.  Please consider donating to them either via food or by monetary donations.

Check out our 1st St. Joseph Altar here!

Here is the link to our Infant Jesus of Prague Thanksgiving Post

As we are now about halfway through Lent I pray that each of you are "fighting the good fight" and pushing through to the end.  Now is a good time to resolve to do better on whatever commitments and pledges you made for Lent.  If you didn't make any then start now.  Every day is a new day to grow in holiness and to live our lives for the glory of God the Father.

St. Joseph, pray for us!

I wish you the sweetness of perseverance in life,


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