Monday, January 23, 2012

Beginning Baptismal Gowns

 Yesterday we bought 12 yards of 4.5 ounce pure linen for the Baptismal gowns. I chose linen because it is best for comfort and for keeping a long time. It may result in wrinkled little children by then end of the Liturgy, but that's okay.

For the necklines I bought several yards of bias-cut silk. This I will fashion into soft seam binding around necks.

Below you can see the 1 inch wide ribbon I bought for the crosses on the back. They are white on white, so I am not sure how visible they will be. The stitched silk over linen should provide contrast. My hope is that when these are complete, they will be
simple, functional garments.

The children and I will be wearing leggings and shirts underneath for modesty, but since we'll be wearing these for at least 3 Sundays I want them to be comfortable. I am not sure if we are instructed to keep them on for 8 days, as some things I have read suggest, but I do know we wear them to Liturgy for 3 weeks.

They will be tunics with gores made in the style of the Baptismal garment of Louis IX, which I have found a slideshow of to share. Love Flickr.

I am going to begin with Rome's gown. Prayer will be an important part of the construction. 


Sunday, January 22, 2012

from the pilgrim continues his way

A Confession Which Leads The Inward Man To Humility

--Turning my eyes carefully upon myself and watching the course of my inward state, I have verified by experience that I do not love God, that I have no love for my neighbors, that I have no religious belief, and that I am filled with pride and sensuality. All this I actually find in myself as a result of detailed examination of my feelings and conduct, thus:
1. I do not love God. For if I loved God I should be continually thinking about Him with heartfelt joy. Every thought of God would give me gladness and delight. On the contrary, I much more often and much more eagerly think about earthly things, and thinking about God is labor and dryness. If I loved God, then talking with Him in prayer would be my nourishment and delight and would draw me to unbroken communion with Him. But, on the contrary, I not only find no delight in prayer, but even find it an effort. I struggle with reluctance, I am enfeebled by sloth and am ready to occupy myself eagerly with any unimportant trifle, if only it shortens prayer and keeps me from it. My time slips away unnoticed in futile occupations, but when I am occupied with God, when I put myself into His presence, every hour seems like a year. If one person loves another, he thinks of him throughout the day without ceasing, he pictures him to himself, he cares for him, and in all circumstances his beloved friend is never out of his thoughts. But I, throughout the day, scarcely set aside even a single hour in which to sink deep down into meditation upon God, to inflame my heart with love of Him, while I eagerly give up 23 hours as fervent offerings to the idols of my passions. I am forward in talk about frivolous matters and things which degrade the spirit; that gives me pleasure. But in the consideration of God I am dry, bored, and lazy. Even if I am unwillingly drawn by others into spiritual conversation, I try to shift the subject quickly to one which pleases my desires. I am tirelessly curious about novelties, about civic affairs and political events; I eagerly seek the satisfaction of my love of knowledge in science and art, and ways of getting things I want to possess. But the study of the law of God, the knowledge of God and of religion, make little impression on me, and satisfy no hunger of my soul. I regard these things not only as a non-essential occupation for a Christian, but in a casual way as a sort of side-issue with which I should perhaps occupy my spare time, at odd moments. To put it shortly, if love for God is recognized by the keeping of His commandments ("If ye love Me, keep My commandments," says our Lord Jesus Christ), and I not only do not keep them, but even make little attempt to do so, then in absolute truth the conclusion follows that I do not love God. That is what Basil the Great says: "The proof that a man does not love God and His Christ lies in the fact that he does not keep His commandments."
2. I do not love my neighbor either. For not only am I unable to make up my mind to lay down my life for his sake (according to the gospel), but I do not even sacrifice my happiness, well-being, and peace for the good of my neighbor. If I did love him as myself, as the gospel bids, his misfortunes would distress me also, his happiness would bring delight to me too. But, on the contrary, I listen to curious, unhappy stories about my neighbor, and I am not distressed; I remain quite undisturbed or, what is still worse, I find a sort of pleasure in them. Bad conduct on the part of my brother I do not cover up with love, but proclaim abroad with censure. His well-being, honor, and happiness do not delight me as my own, and, as if they were something quite alien to me, give me no feeling of gladness. What is more, they subtly arouse in me feelings of envy or contempt.
3. I have no religious belief. Neither in immortality nor in the gospel. If I were firmly persuaded and believed without doubt that beyond the grave lies eternal life and recompense for the deeds of this life, I should be continually thinking of this. The very idea of immortality would terrify me and I should lead this life as a foreigner who gets ready to enter his native land. On the contrary, I do not even think about eternity, and I regard the end of this earthly life as the limit of my existence. The secret thought nestles within me: Who knows what happens at death? If I say I believe in immortality, then I am speaking about my mind only, and my heart is far removed from a firm conviction about it. That is openly witnessed to by my conduct and my constant care to satisfy the life of the senses. Were the holy gospel taken into my heart in faith, as the Word of God, I should be continually occupied with it, I should study it, find delight in it, and with deep devotion fix my attention upon it. Wisdom, mercy, and love are hidden in it; it would lead me to happiness, I should find gladness in the study of the law of God day and night. In it I should find nourishment like my daily bread, and my heart would be drawn to the keeping of its laws. Nothing on earth would be strong enough to turn me away from it. On the contrary, if now and again I read or hear the Word of God, yet even so it is only from necessity or from a general love of knowledge, and approaching it without any very close attention I find it dull and uninteresting. I usually come to the end of the reading without any profit, only too ready to change over to secular reading in which I take more pleasure and find new and interesting subjects.
4. I am full of pride and sensual self-love. All my actions confirm this. Seeing something good in myself, I want to bring it into view, or to pride myself upon it before other people or inwardly to admire myself for it. Although I display an outward humility, yet I ascribe it all to my own strength and regard myself as superior to others, or at least no worse than they. If I notice a fault in myself, I try to excuse it; I cover it up by saying, "I am made like that" or "I am not to blame". I get angry with those who do not treat me with respect and consider them unable to appreciate the value of people. I brag about my gifts: my failures in any undertaking I regard as a personal insult. I murmur, and I find pleasure in the unhappiness of my enemies. If I strive after anything good it is for the purpose of winning praise, or spiritual self-indulgence, or earthly consolation. In a word, I continually make an idol of myself and render it uninterrupted service, seeking in all things the pleasures of the senses and nourishment for my sensual passions and lusts.
--Going over all this I see myself as proud, adulterous, unbelieving, without love for God and hating my neighbor. What state could be more sinful? The condition of the spirits of darkness is better than mine. They, although they do not love God, hate men, and live upon pride, yet at least believe and tremble. But I? Can there be a doom more terrible than that which faces me, and what sentence of punishment will be more severe than that upon the careless and foolish life that I recognize in myself?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sewing Baptismal Garments

Here I am asking for help. I have spent some time looking for sewing instructions or patterns for the type of garment I am told we need, to no avail.

I will soon buy a bolt of linen for the garments. We need one for each, including Tristan who will not be Baptised but has been and should be wearing a garment symbolic of this at Chrismation. So, that means:

Anatoly and

From garb making for the SCA I have an idea of what we may need- 10 yards or perhaps 12. I am buying a 20 yard bolt, so this should not be a problem.

The style of garment I would like to make is not unlike the classic SCA T Tunic, but I am told it must be girded with a cloth belt, and it should be somewhat easier to put on than the T Tunic. The tunic if finished with a white cross on the back which can be made from ribbon. I am not looking to make stylised  cassocks. I just don't have the time. Is there any pattern out there, any help or resource?

If there is not, I intend to go ahead with a loose-bodiced T Tunic which has gores from the hip. I can add a belt, perhaps a tie from the back that can be wrapped around front and tied. The challenge here will be to make them easy on. Keyhole neck? Shoulder clasp? Snap down the back, even? I could do that, although I would have to be certain the closures did not gap and show backside.
The Baptismal Garment of Louis IX

Handmade infant gowns, like this one, are easy to find.

See how simple this Jerusalem- made Baptismal shirt is. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I was home from church last night and this morning with sick children. It was bound to happen to us at some point, and will probably happen again in the future. Is it silly to say I pined for both Vigil and the Liturgy?

I pray this will pass quickly.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Theophany 2012

Matins yesterday morning. 

Our Theophany service processed through town to the creek.

A truly blessed feast day.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Great Blessing of the Waters

Tonight was overwhelming. Another first for me. I don't know what to say.


It is always useful to have things shaken up by an outside force, so that they settle in a new way and can be seen differently. This or something like it has happened to me, and now I am aware that my worries about Baptism and approaching the Church properly are nothing less than a fault in faith.

So in some subtle way I have developed doubts disguised as a search for the truth. These doubts aren't worthy of the light of day. The only way they could exist for me was in heavy disguise.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Captivating is just the word.

I have just read a page or two of Saint John Chrysostom's Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew. 

This is going to make for beautiful reading time. I wish I could appreciate it in the language it was written in.

Now, I am reaching a point where I have to give a book or two up or I'll be lost. I was  putting away a book I set down a few weeks back and became engrossed in it all over again: The Freedom of Morality. I will do my very best to put down the books that aren't the New Testament or Homilies on the New Testament. They can wait.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

More Books, somewhat more difficult to own

There is a publisher who offers an English translation of Blessed Theophylact of Ochrid's Explanations of the New Testament. I would very much like these, but for now they are too expensive to buy all at once.

New Books

Not just any books. I am in search of an appropriate Bible for my own use.

The only book I have purchased is the N.T Wright Kingdom New Testament. It should arrive today. I am also looking for King James Bible with the Apocrypha, and the Septuagint which is in the last image below. I would like to stay away from Kindle editions. They are too clumsy for this kind of reading, or so I have found with the Kindle edition of the Orthodox Study Bible.

I may go to a local thrift shop today to look for a KJV with the Apocrypha.

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