Sunday, November 06, 2011

All Hallows Eve, All Saints, and All Souls!

Saint Clare of Assisi and Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

The girls dressed in their saint costumes on All Hallow's Eve (the evening of All Saints Day, or Hallowe'en). They were so excited about their homemade costumes! I was glad, because with a newborn, I didn't have the time to get too elaborate. The only time-intensive part was pinning and hemming their veil/mantle pieces - whatever they're called.

Cecilia chose one of her patron saints, Clare. Here's how we made her costume: First, she wore brown sweatpants underneath. If it had been colder, she would have also worn a long sleeved shirt underneath. For the tunic part, we used one of Daddy's brown t-shirts turned inside-out to hide the logo writing on it. Then we took an extra piece of clothesline rope and tied some knots into it and made a belt - I looked at photos of some Poor Clare sisters and this is how their belts looked. Then we hung a simple wooden bead rosary over her belt. The white part - I believe this piece of the habit is called a guimpe - is just a size 4 turtleneck. A plain white t-shirt works as well and is not so tight. The arms of the turtleneck are just tied around the back of her head. Then I hemmed a black piece of fabric... it was 3/4 of a yard, I think. I safety pinned it to the turtleneck in two places. I also had to pin the back of the brown shirt because the neck was sliding off one of her shoulders.

We made the monstrance very cheaply and easily. See the tutorial for step-by-step instructions. Saint Clare took the Blessed Sacrament up to a window of the convent when the city was being attacked, and the enemy turned and fled when they saw it.

To make Caroline's costume, we began with a hand-me-down dress from our neighbors... it looks to be handmade, and we decided the green velvety material made it look like a dress for royalty. Then I hemmed a white piece of fabric, one yard. It was held in place by the crown, which I cut out of cardstock. Caroline decorated it with craft sequins.

The finishing touch to the costume: a basket with a piece of bread (yes, it's real, from the loaf of Irish brown bread we'd baked earlier!) and some fake roses. Elizabeth of Hungary was taking bread to the poor, of which her husband didn't approve - it was not the kind of hing royalty should have to do, he thought. So when he pulled her veil back (where she was concealing the bread), he only found roses.

On All Saints Day, we did some fun yet schoolish activities... here the girls are playing Saint Memory using the cards that can be downloaded for free here.

Caroline told me everything she could remember about St. Elizabeth of ?Hungary, and then she illustrated her narration. Cecilia did the same. We're going to make a family All Saints book and add their saint each year.

Cecilia illustrates her saint.

Next, we made soul cakes. They were the original "treat" that was given to people coming door-to-door. Catholics in England used to knock at neighbors' doors and ask for a "soul cake" in return for offering prayers for the dead of the family. There are various ideas of how these soul cakes were made... not sure if there was a particular original recipe. I think this really illustrates how Hallowe'en is truly a Christian holiday and doesn't have to be a gory secularized day!

Cecilia wearing a dress-up dress, as usual, while making the soul cakes...



They each got to sample one before leaving for Mass, and then they shared more with friends at the park, where we went for lunch and to play after Mass and before ballet class!

Then we met with the same friends and another homeschooling family from our church on Friday for our first All Saints Party!

Here are the snacks... my friend Beth pulled all of these ideas for food together. Many of the ideas were found here at Catholic Icing... Bugles for St. Gabriel's trumpet, Goldfish crackers for St. Peter (and any of the apostles who were fisherman), pretzel sticks for St. Bernadette's firewood...

Here's the pumpkin cupcakes I made for the cupcake walk... I topped each one with a printed holy card on a toothpick. I got the here from That Resource Site.

The kids played Saint Bingo... here's St. Nicholas!

The older kids helped the younger ones, and everyone got to pick out prizes.

We did the cake walk out on the driveway since the weather was so nice. We played a Catholic children's CD and when the music stopped, I called out a saint. Whoever was on that saint went to choose a cupcake.


She ate more than just the frosting, I promise. ;)

Last, we did St. Isadore the Farmer's Pumpkin Race. The kids rolled pumpkins across the yard as fast as they could!

St. Clare, who looked more like St. Francis at this point since she'd removed her headpiece, ecided kicking the pumpkin was easier than rolling it with her hands... she decided to pick it up and carry it the rest of the way back to the driveway!

Blessed Kateri and Mary, Queen of All Saints, take their turns!

We used holy cards and religious medals for prizes, along with candy corn and candy pumpkins and gummi "snakes." Click the photo to see it larger and read the labels.

Here are all the saints who dressed up! We had fun and hope to make this an annual tradition!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Wow, Erin! I just LOVE their costumes. You did an awesome job with them! :-) Your activities sound like so much fun. You are always coming up with wonderful hands-on activities for your children! And, it looks like they had a great time at the party. I wish we could find something like that with which to be involved!

God bless,
Lisa