Liturgical Year

Laetare Sunday or Mothering Sunday



Laetare Sunday

Laetare Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Lent, and the name Laetare Sunday is taken from the words of the introit, laetare Jerusalem, “rejoice with Jerusalem.” There is a joyful tone at this halfway point in the Lenten season. The vestments are often rose-colored (pink). Traditionally, the Apostles Creed is “handed over” to the catechumens, the last step for those preparing for Baptism.

Laetare Sunday is also called Mothering Sunday, named because a person would visit his “mother church,” another name for the church he grew up in, on this day. This day also became connected with visiting one’s biological mother on Laetare Sunday. Various customs developed on this Sunday, including the baking of “mother cakes.” These cakes are also called “simnel cakes,” and sometimes the fourth Sunday of Lent is called Simnel Sunday.

Liturgical Year

Feast of the Annunciation ~ Easy Craft

And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. St. Luke 1:26-28, 38

…as death had befallen us through a woman, Life should be born to us through a woman. –
St. Augustine


The feast of this day is called the Annunciation of our Lady, for on this day the angel Gabriel showed to the glorious Virgin Mary the coming of the Blessed Son of God. That is to wit, how he ought to come into the glorious Virgin, and take on her nature and human flesh to save the world. It was reasonable that the angel should come to the glorious Virgin Mary, for like as Eve by the exhorting of the devil gave her consent to commit the sin of disobedience to our perdition, right so by the greeting of the angel Gabriel and by the exhortation, the glorious Virgin Mary gave her consent to his message by obedience, to our salvation. Wherefore, like as the first woman was cause of our damnation, so was the blessed Virgin Mary the beginning of our redemption. When that the angel Gabriel was sent to show the incarnation of our Saviour Jesus Christ, he found her alone, enclosed in her chamber, like as S. Bernard saith, in which the maidens and virgins ought to abide in their houses, without running abroad out openly, and they ought also to flee the words of men, of which their honour and good name might be lessened or hurt.

And the angel said to the glorious Virgin Mary: I salute thee, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. There is not found in Scripture, in any part, a comparable salution. And it was brought from heaven unto the glorious Virgin Mary, who was the first woman that ever in the world offered to God her virginity. And the angel said to her after: Thou shalt be blessed above all other women, for thou shalt escape the malediction that all other women have by childbearing in sin and in sorrow; and thou shalt be mother of God, and shalt abide a pure virgin and clean.

Excerpts from The Golden Legend by Jacobus de Voragine

Easy Annunciation Craft from Catholic Inspired


Liturgical Year

Family Lent Ideas and Resources

Lent is the autumn of the spiritual life during which we gather fruit to keep us going for the rest of the year. St. Francis de Sales

The following are some resources to help your family observe the season of Lent.


The Lent song  for kids from Catholic Icing. There is even a video of a lovely lady singing the song. Great for preschool and early elementary.


Salt Dough Crown of Thorns: This is a project we do every year. The idea is to remove a thorn (toothpick) whenever a sacrifice is made. The goal is for all the thorns to be removed by Holy Week.

My children made this Way of the Cross Circle with their Eucharistic Crusade group and it was a big hit.

This neat idea from Katie has complete instructions for making Resurrection Eggs.   Each plastic egg holds something related to Holy Week and a Scripture verse. There are print outs included which makes this a super-easy project.


Here is a simple pretzel recipe from Holy Heroes. Lacy has a wonderful explanation of the pretzel over at Catholic Icing. As well as a Pretzel Prayer Printable.


Catholic Culture · Liturgical Year

Feast of the Annunciation: March 25

“At that time: the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a Virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the Virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought within herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David his father: and He shall reign in the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done because I know not man? And the angel answering, said unto her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God… And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word. ” (Luke chapter 1.)
           By these last words of thine, O Mary! Our happiness is secured. Thou consentest to the desire of heaven, and thy consent brings us our Savior. O Virgin-Mother! BLESSED AMONG WOMEN! We unite our thanks with the homage that is paid thee by the angels. By thee is our ruin repaired; in thee is our nature restored; for thou hast wrought the victory of man over satan! St. Bernard, in one of his homilies on this Gospel, thus speaks: ‘ rejoice, O thou father Adam! but thou, O mother eve, still more rejoice! You were our parents, but you were also our destroyers; and what is worse, you had wrought our destruction before you gave us birth. Both of you must be consoled in such a daughter as this: but thou. O Eve, who wast the first cause of our misfortune, and whose humiliation has descended upon all women, thou hast a special reason to rejoice in Mary. For the time has now come, when the humiliations taken away; neither can man any longer complain against the woman, as of old, when he foolishly sought to excuse himself, and cruelly put all blame on her, saying: “The woman whom thou gavest me, gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” Go, eve, to Mary; go mother, to thy daughter; let thy daughter take thy part, and free thee from thy disgrace, and reconcile thee to her father: for, if man fell by woman, he is raised up by a woman.
        ‘ What is this thou sayest , Adam? ” The woman, whom thou gavest me, gave me of the tree, and I did eat?” These are wicked words; far from effacing thy fault, they aggravate it. But divine Wisdom conquered thy wickedness, by finding in the treasury of His own inexhaustible mercy a motive for pardon, which He had in vain sought to elicit by questioning thee. In place of the woman, of whom thou complainest, He gives thee another: Eve was foolish. Mary is wise; Eve was proud, Mary is humble; Eve gave thee the tree of death, Mary will give thee of the Tree of Life; Eve offered thee a bitter and poisoned fruit, Mary will give thee the sweet Fruit she herself is to bring forth, the Fruit of everlasting life. Change, then, thy wicked excuse into an act of thanksgiving, and say: ” The Woman, whom thou hast given me, O Lord, hath given me of the Tree of life, and I have eaten thereof; and it is sweeter than honey to my mouth, for by it Thou hast given me life.”
The Liturgical Year: Abbot Gueranger, O.S.B. ( Lent)


Liturgical Year

Restoring Pious Traditions – The Angelus

The Angelus Domini, shortened to “the Angelus,” is the ringing of the church bell — in three groups of three chimes with a pause in between each group, followed by 9 consecutive strokes — at 6AM, Noon, and 6PM roughly, and its associated prayers, which spring from the monastic practice of praying the tres orationes at Matins, Prime and Compline. While the monastics said their prayers at the sound of the Angelus Bell, the faithful would stop what they were doing and say 3 Hail Marys in honor of the Incarnation. Later, since at least A.D. 1612, verses were added to these Hail Marys such that we get the form of the Angelus we have today (see below). During Paschaltide (the Easter Season), the humbling Angelus prayer below is replaced with the more celebratory, joyous Regina Coeli prayer at the direction of Pope Benedict XIV in 1742.

Some of the earliest bells used for this purpose, dating to the 13th and 14th centuries, still survive and are engraved with inscriptions attesting to their purpose. Some of these inscriptions are (from the Catholic Encyclopedia):

  • Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee)
  • Dulcis instar mellis campana vocor Gabrielis (I am sweet as honey, and am called Gabriel’s bell)
  • Ecce Gabrielis sonat hæc campana fidelis (Behold this bell of faithful Gabriel sounds)
  • Missi de coelis nomen habeo Gabrielis (I bear the name of Gabriel sent from heaven)
  • Missus vero pie Gabriel fert læta Mariæ (Gabriel the messenger bears joyous tidings to holy Mary)
  • O Rex Gloriæ Veni Cum Pace (O King of Glory, Come with Peace)