Thank you so much for the kind comments expressed here this week, particularly the cheering words for the "Coffers of Grace" and "Cottage Catastrophe" posts, not to mention today's Candlemas Tea and plans. After reading the Candlemas Tea Menu, my dear friend Jennifer commented:
"Simply is the key word there, I appreciate how your Teas can be done with simple, common ingredients."
This was significant and deeply gratifying to me, because the philosophy behind the Liturgical Teas is simplicity. My hope is that mothers will be able to read the suggestions, make a run to the grocery store, and have everything on the table in an hour or so. The Teas are meant to create an impression on the children, and--simple beings that they are--they are happy with sugar cubes and pretzels and cherry tomatoes, God bless them! Is it any wonder Our Dear Lord tells us to "be like a little child"? My dearest wish is that, thanks to you good mothers who make things happen, a handful of children may never look at a Mallomar or a strawberry again without thinking of something happy and holy.
Candlemas will be upon us soon. From your comments, I see that our family will not be the only one celebrating for the first time. Let's make this a great Feast and remember to pray for one another during the day. Perhaps you might consider saying the Purification Novena Prayer after grace--it is perfect for a Tea with children:
"O Blessed Mother of God, who went up to the Temple according to the law with your offering of little white doves, pray for me that I too may keep the law and be pure in heart like you.
Sweet heart of Mary, be my salvation."
--from the Novena for Purification.
To help you all with that last minute shopping trip, here is a list of the ingredients you need for the Candlemas Tea:
Tea (Look for package marked "pure tea.")
Spring water (optional)
Turtledoves (see note below)
Toothpicks (preferably swords)
Grape or cherry tomatoes
Cubes of cheese
Whipping Cream or Cool Whip
White chocolate morsels for melting
Shoestring licorice for edible tapers
A Note on Turtledoves: We are using craft store doves, but something white would work well here--try mini bagels, split in half with a bit of cream cheese, or, if you don't mind something sweet, white meringues. The brilliant Amy suggested Marshmallow Peeps. Believe it or not, this occurred to me too, but I am not sure if they are available yet. Fear not, however, the Mallomars will make up for it!
If you are feeling a bit too rushed, it might make sense to consider hosting something like this over the weekend. It will be First Saturday, after all!