Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Celebrating Pentecost

Happy Pentecost!

We're still relatively new in our celebrations of the Liturgical Year, but we are learning and growing each year.  This year we decorated our "Jesse Tree Year Round" with tongues of flame inscribed with the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit and doves.  I printed everything out on card stock and the kids and I had fun cutting everything out and discussing why we were using these elements for our tree.  I got the idea from the Windsock for Pentecost at Shower of Roses and adapted it to make it work for us.   

As an aside, if you'd like to work more with your kids (and perhaps yourself!) on memorizing things like the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, I highly recommend Kevin Vost's book Memorize the Faith.  The memory techniques presented in this book are fantastic and work well with kids and adults.   

For dessert - because after all, celebrating the liturgical year with food is such a highlight for everyone! - we had pound cake, whipped cream, and strawberries cut length-wise to look like flames.  The kids The kids thought it was great and were quite impressed that strawberries could be made to look like flames.   We also had some raspberry rooibos tea with our dessert because it was as close as I could get to an appropriately colored beverage on short notice.


  1. I am intrigued by this "Jesse Tree Year Round" idea. Do you have a post where you flesh out the concept and how you do it? Thanks!

    1. Hi Pam, thanks for your comment and question! No, I don't have a post where I do that. I started this blog several years (and two children ago!) thinking I would try my hand at a resource blog, but quickly realized I didn't have it in me to do it. I had originally planned that this would be the first of a series, and I would do a post each time I changed our Jesse Tree Year Round throughout the year.

      In brief(-ish), the tree you see in the first picture lives permanently on our hutch next to our dining table. It gets changed throughout the year, reflecting either the changes in the liturgical year or other holidays. In Advent it holds our felt Jesse Tree ornaments, at Christmas the cloth is changed to white but the ornaments stay up. For the run of ordinary time between Christmas and Lent, it has snowflakes in January and hearts in February (my oldest has a birthday in Feb and likes the hearts theme!). Once Lent starts, it is decorated with 40 small pictures of Jesus carrying the Cross. We use it as our Lenten countdown, removing one picture each day of Lent. It is bare for the Triduum, then is decorated with eggs and flowers for the Easter season. Pentecost you can see above and in the long ordinary time it is used to hang symbols for some of the saints who have feast days during that time. I try to stay close to the traditional symbols for the saint, ones that would be used in Christian art, as a way to help the kids learn those symbols. In November those all come off and it becomes a thankful tree, where we cut out construction paper leaves, write things we are thankful for, and hang those on the tree. We also have a basket at the base of the tree for names of people who have passed away that we're praying for during November. For each change the cloth at the bottom, either matching the liturgical color or the theme.

      It has been a neat tradition in our family, and one my children look forward to changing as we move around the year. In looking back at this post, I hadn't realized we've been doing it for as long as we have!