November 22 is a dual holiday this year: the traditional day of giving thanks as well as the feast day of St. Cecilia. So, how can you incorporate her feast day into your family’s feast? Before we can understand how to celebrate St. Cecilia, we must understand a bit about her life. I am going to give you the nutshell version because we all have things to do, right? Right. Ok.
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St. Cecilia was an Italian woman who was forced into marriage, but took the opportunity to convert her groom and his brother. When the faith of the men was learned, they were put to death, and Cecilia took it upon herself to bury them. She was arrested for doing this and sentenced to death by fire. When this did not work, she was subjected to suffocation. And, when this did not work, she was stabbed in the neck in an attempted beheading (sorry if you’re reading this over breakfast), and was left to die. She is considered the patron of musicians because she played the organ on her wedding day as a way of declaring her love for God and asking for His help.
So, that’s the down and dirty. But, how can we use that information to celebrate St. Cecilia on Thanksgiving? Let’s look at a few ways:
1. Go to Mass. What better way to give thanks than the ultimate prayer? And, bonus, St. Cecilia is one of the few Saints that are honored by having their names mentioned in the Canon of the Mass. Listen for her. And, don’t forget to participate in the music!
2. Listen to music. Who doesn’t like a little dinner music? Choose a soft, prayerful melody to play at your feast. Do as St. Cecilia did, and while you listen, tell God how much you love Him. Ask for His help in being more thankful in your life.
3. Make a musical instrument. You don’t need to whittle yourself a flute or anything. Can you even do that? While you’re cooking dinner, have the kids make drums out of oatmeal containers, make a banjo out of a toilet paper roll and some rubber bands, fill up cups with different levels of water and bang ‘em with a spoon. If they’re feeling really crafty, decorate the instruments while you talk about St. Cecilia’s life.
4. Reach out to a family member. Many of us see family on Thanksgiving. Maybe you have a family member who is looking for a way back into the Church. Do your best to guide that person today (however subtly you must!)
5. Start a novena to her.
Do you have any other ideas? How are you going to incorporate St. Cecilia into your family’s Thanksgiving this year?
Copyright 2012 Jenna Hines