A Feast for Michaelmas

It was rather convenient that, this year, Michaelmas coincided with a nice Sunday dinner! We had angel chicken, which is chicken in a creamy Italian white wine sauce served over angel hair pasta:


And a heavenly strawberry roll for dessert, also know as angel food cake jelly-rolled and filled with vanilla-strawberry cream (notice the theme?):


I wish I could have come up with an angelic side dish, too, but I’m just not that creative. But having the main dish and dessert share the theme wasn’t too bad!

What Gives?

If I remember correctly, a few years ago, I told my family I was no longer going to make an Oktoberfest feast, because it’s just too much work.

Since then, our Oktoberfest observation has gotten more complicated. What gives?

The menu tomorrow includes appetizers of homemade soft pretzels and cheddar-beer fondue, with a dinner of Jaeger Schnitzel, noodles (the sp√§tzle¬†really is too much work–I’ve tried it!), and sauerkraut. And, for dessert, I’m make a Black Forest cherry torte for the first time. And it’s authentic…I tracked down the very hard-to-find kirschwasser to make it!

This is pretty much the opposite of not celebrating Oktoberfest anymore. I guess I’m suffering from a combination of “I-love-my-family-and-like-making-special-celebrations-for-them,” and “I’m-proud-to-be-German-and-don’t-get-to-recognize-it-often-enough.”

Oh well. I had given up the idea of having a quiet time of year, celebrations-wise, a while ago. There’s always something fun to do, even if it does mean a lot of work for me!

The Day of Pentecost

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

The Church lives and moves and has her being through the gracious inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Without God’s Spirit, no one could come to Christ or believe in Him. The fifty-day celebration of Easter ends with this joyous festival. The risen and ascended Savior has sent the Holy Spirit to be our Sanctifier, entering our hearts at Holy Baptism, nurturing us through the Word, and enabling us to understand the Gospel and to live a life that honors God and serves our neighbor.

The Ascension of Our Lord

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

Ascension Day is the coronation celebration of our Lord as He is proclaimed to be King of the universe. Jesus’ ascension to the Father is His entrance to the greater existence beyond the confines of time and space, being no longer bound by the limitations of His state of humiliation. Jesus now sits at the right hand of God, which Luther correctly taught is everywhere, having again taken up the power and authority that were His since before time. Yet our Lord is present with us who remain bound by time and space. He is with us as true God and true man, exercising His rulership in the Church through the means of grace which He established: His Word and His Sacraments. We mortals in those means of grace can grasp the King of the universe and receive a foretaste of the feast to come.

The Easter Season–The Great Fifty Days

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

The Easter season is a fifty-day-long season of joy extending from Easter to Pentecost. During this time, the Church celebrates the end of Christ’s struggles and proclaims His victory over death and the reception of the benefits of His life, death, and resurrection as gracious gifts of love and mercy for all those who believe in Him. This is the Church’s great season of joy! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

The Resurrection of Our Lord–Easter Sunday

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

Easter is the oldest and highest of all Christian festivals–the festival of festivals, the feast of feasts! On this day, when Christ first stepped triumphantly from the ranks of the dead, all our waiting is declared to be a waiting that is already completed; Christ’s triumph makes all the waiting that follows in our lives of faith a building anchored on the foundation that was laid when He whom the builders rejected became the Cornerstone. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Holy Saturday

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

The commemoration of Holy Saturday encompasses our Lord’s rest in the tomb and His descent into hell. The descent into hell is not, however, the depth of Christ’s humiliation but rather the demonstration of His complete victory over death. This day takes us out of the depths of most painful sorrow and out of the solitude of holy meditation upon Christ’s Passion to the celebration of victory as we anticipate the Lord’s resurrection breaking forth in all its glory on Easter.

Good Friday

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

Good Friday is the high point of Holy Week, but not of the Church Year–for we know that after Good Friday a day is coming when death will give way to life. If the commemoration of Good Friday was separated from Easter, we would remain in our sins, and thus the ultimate word of Good Friday would be “you are condemned.” Even as we stand at the foot of the cross and contemplate the price of our sin, we gather as children reconciled to God. In the services of Good Friday, the Church does not leave us in the darkness and the shadow of death but rather fills us with the certainty of victory over sin, death, and the devil, pointing us to the final victory that will be celebrated on Easter.

Maundy Thursday

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

Maundy Thursday, the Day of Commandment (Dies Mandati), most properly refers to the example of service given us by our Lord and the directive to love as we have been loved (John 13:34). Yet we must not forget the command given in the Words of Our Lord to “do this in remembrance of Me.” This day, with its commemoration of the institution of the Lord’s Supper, is set off from the rest of Holy Week as a day of festive joy.

Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week. Also known as the Sunday of the Passion, on this day, we remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, where He was lauded with “hosannas,” and a path was made for Him with coats and branches spread on the road. He was cheered as a king, even though He was riding on a lowly animal–a donkey. In only a few short days, the excited crowd turns to excitement of a different kind, as they call for Jesus’ death. In addition to the Palm Sunday readings, which are found in Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19, and especially John 12, it is common for the Gospel reading to recount the full passion of Jesus, such as the one recorded in Luke 23. This reading goes from the trial before Pilate through Jesus’s death and the Sabbath rest observed by the followers of Jesus.