Friday, August 17, 2012

Feast of the Assumption-Crowning Point of Field Harvest

I learned something new about the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
I was meeting with the pastor on the eve of the holyday and in between our conversation he would say, "Are you coming to Mass tonight?" I kept thinking why was he asking me this as he knew I was going tomorrow with the students. Finally, I said, is there something you want me to do at Mass that you keep asking me if I am coming? Yes, I want you to read this introduction and it was a long one. So I said sure, good excuse to get out of a meeting early.

As I waited in the front of church to read the introduction I realized that something special was going to happen at Mass so I hurried to get my camera and made it back in time to read the long introduction.  I learned that during the first millenium of the Christian era, The Feast of the Assumption, was of enormous importance to people as a crowning point of field harvests. On this day people gather bouquets of flowers, herbs, baskets of vegetation and fruits and bring them to the Vigil Mass or on the feast of the holy day. They are brought as offerings to Mary and are blessed by the priest. These are later shared or taken home to be eaten or dried for nourishment, for healing and for fragrant decor in people's homes.

The offerings were brought up as part of the Offertory procession.
First to be offered were the Flowers.
Violets symbolize Mary's humility. They were said to have blossomed outside her window when she said; "I am the handmaid of the Lord." Leaving Mary, the Angel of God blessed the little flower in passing, thus leaving it with a most tender and sweet fragrance.

Herbs were next to be offered to Mary.

Herbs are blessed with properties of healing and fragrance. Rosemary-produces blooms of pale blue. Originally, white, they turned blue (Mary's color) in reward for service to our Lady when she was looking for a bush on which to spread Baby Jesus' tiny garments after washing them on her way to Egypt with Joseph.
Fruits are the next offering.
Vegetables - bounteous crop of any garden.
All were then blessed by our pastor, Fr. Ariel Lustan.
At the end of Mass all were invited to take some of the blessed crops home to enjoy.

The next day, was our first school Mass and what a better way than to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I am teaching Religion in Grs. 3 and 4 this year so they had the honor to read at the Mass.
After Mass, Fr. Ariel blessed the students' classrooms along with their Bibles, rosaries and Religion books on top of their desks. As you will see by the pictures, the students had different reactions to the blessing of their room. Father Ariel started with the older students and worked his way down the line.
Grades 5 and 6 - very solemn
Grades 3 and 4 were well prepared and ready for Father's blessing.

"Whoops! How do I duck Father's flowing blue robe that matches my shirt? "  
Sr. Mary Ann and her Kindergarten group of 14 students.

PreKindergarten - 4 year olds-they are trying to imitate Father and hold their arms out in a blessing too!
One little boy told Father, "Hey! You missed me!" Another said, "Give me some more of the blessing."

PreSchool - 3 year olds-also had their snack of 1% milk and bananas blessed too!

The day after the Assumption, Vinegar Rue, came to visit our school. I first saw him trying to get into the library to read a book when I arrived at 6:30am to open up the doors of the different rooms.
Later on in the morning, the 1st and 2nd grade teacher came to me and said, " My boys said there are bugs in their bathroom." I thought, oh, oh! I bet it is Vinegar Rue in there. Sure enough there he was walking with his long legs inside their bathroom. I thought it was time to put him into his outdoor nature classroom. I got a broom and dustpan and swept him up and put him out by the flagpole so he could begin his History lesson for the day. Here is our friendly student-Vinegar Rue!

 Be sure to get a good look at  him -  in case he comes to visit your school some day!
It was quite the feat to carry him out in the dust pan without having him climb up my arm.
 I did not walk slowly down our outdoor hall.

The end of our first full week of school came on Friday with a beautiful pinkish monsoon sky set against the mountains that surround our school.

Did you ever hear the phrase - "The sky is falling"?  As I looked at the heavy pink clouds, clustered together I thought of that phrase. They looked so heavy I thought the sky was getting ready to fall.

And now our friendly blimp that hovers over our school daily got to rest also on this Friday night in the field behind school. I wonder how many planes of drugs it detected today.

Ahhh.....Friday Night is my DELIGHT!


  1. Aside from the vinegar rue mention, I enjoyed learning more about your desert life:)!

  2. I'm way behind in visiting your blog so am now catching up on your mid August entries. Thank you for sharing your spiritual life and insights as well as very practical adventures!