How To Pick The Best Paint Colors For A Church Interior

Picture Of Best Paint Colors For A Church Interior

There are several considerations to make when it comes to beautifying a building. After erecting the structure, the next point of call is giving it a nice finishing. The decoration, the lawn, and most importantly, the exterior and interior painting plays a major role.

However, there is more to painting and color mixing than outward appearance. For example, when it comes to painting the interior of a church building, there are specific considerations you put in mind.  Some of them are:

  • The worship style of the church
  • The kind of atmosphere you want the color to create
  • The amount of light that brightens the church’s interior

What Is The Significance Of Colors?

In artistic beauty, color is one thing that cannot be traded with. It is interesting to discover the psychological and mental effects of each color. Each color adds a specific impact in that it communicates an idea, a feeling or an effect.

Having an understanding of color effect is beneficial to color mixing and painting. House Painters In Niagara Falls have also said that clients who have an idea of color patterns seem more satisfied with service delivery.  Here is an explanation of specific colors.


The color, white, is known to create a mental picture of purity or cleanliness. It is common to find church interior painted with white to create an atmosphere for the worship of God. Besides, white is also known as the symbol of innocence, peace, tranquility, and awe.


It is generally known in arts and painting that black stands for evil authority or power. It also connotes mourning most of the time.

With regards to painting a church interior, it is unusual to see black paintings. Another reason why interior buildings are not often painted black is because of the radiation and heat that comes with the color. Black absorbs light but is unable to transmit it.


Red is a bright color and is used for many reasons. It connotes love, romance, life, and blood. Most of the time, the part of red that symbolizes blood is often explored in the design of a church interior. It is not unusual to find some parts of the interior painted in cool red. The red color is also known to communicate energy, comfort, and excitement.


In painting and application of colors, green is particularly known to add a sense of freshness, life, nature, and cool. It is one of the commonest colors you will ever find in a church interior after white. The state of peace, comfort, tranquility, growth, calmness, and fertility that green transmits gives church members the psychology of peace during worship.


The blue color is another very important and applicable color in painting. You might want to consider using blue for your church interior painting because it adds a sense of serenity, love, wisdom, loyalty, calmness, and order.


Royalty is one of the cores of worship in the church. Purple may appear in the interior of some worship centers. Also, purple as used in arts symbolizes spirituality, wealth, prosperity and abundance.

How Do I Select The Best Color For A Church Interior?

Picture Of How Do I Select The Best Color For A Church Interior

Deciding on the color of a church interior color can be very difficult. You want to make sure that you eventually pick a color that satisfies the congregation of worshippers. But how best can you go about this decision?

We will help you understand How To Pick The Best Paint Colors for Church Interior;

1. Create An Active Committee

It is important to devise a strategy if needs will be met. When deciding on the color, it is not a question thrown to worshippers during a Sunday sermon.

The most effective strategy is to form a committee of experienced and well-informed people to pick the perfect color. Therefore, you saddle the committee with this responsibility early enough so they can work without pressure.

2. Observe The Church Interior

A good understanding of the structure, design, and orientation of the interior will go a long way in getting the perfect color. But how does this happen? You should allow the committee to properly view the church’s interior features.

Some colors perfectly match bricks and walls while some are a good match for wood. Also, the interior’s shape and orientation are very important because some churches have square shapes while others have a rectangular or even circular shape.

Also, you should remember to select a good color for the windows. Here, you will need to analyze color mixing because the windows should match the floor and wall. These orientations all contribute to the most suitable color.

Another feature that should be considered is the amount of light that enters the church through the window or some other sources. Based on this light information, you can decide to include a bright or dark color to either magnify or contain the light illumination.

3. Consult An Expert

After you might have obtained results from your observations, it is necessary to show them to a specialist or a consultant in painting and color mixing. All you need to do is show the details of your findings.

Also, do not forget to include pictures of the interior before the painting. In most cases, your consultant will connect you to a shop where you can purchase the best paint for your church interior.

4. Test Your Results

You are not done yet. Remember that color on posters at the shop does not necessarily transmit an exact feeling on the wall of your church interior. So, you should do some tests by applying posters of the selected colors on some parts of the interior. The recommendation of viewers at this point can then lead you to finalize your decision.


Color is an expression of beauty and the right mixing and application will give you the exact feeling you wish to have. You can be sure to get the best painting color even for your church interior.

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Can Angels Read Minds?

praying to angels

Can angels read minds? Do they know your secret thoughts? By the power of God, angels are able to know and understand a lot about what is happening in the world.

Since creation, angels have watched and recorded the choices that people make. They also play a part in listening and responding to prayers made by people but can angels read your mind to know exactly what it is you’re thinking about?

Do Angels Know As Much As God

Although angels have amassed great knowledge, they are not omniscient. This means that they can’t bear the same amount of knowledge as God. It’s important to understand that God created angels and, therefore, cannot have the same knowledge as the being that created them.

In Mark 13:32, Jesus spoke of the limited knowledge of angels when he said that no one knew the day or the hour that God would descend from heaven to earth. He added that not even him, nor God’s angels had that information, apart from God himself.

It’s clear that angels do not know as much as God, but they do know a lot more than humans. God created angels before he created human beings. Angles rank higher in order of creation and naturally, have more knowledge. This, therefore, brings the up question; can angels read minds?

Angels Accessing Your Mind

Everyone has one or more guardian angels. Guardian angels are assigned by God to watch over you and care for you all through your entire life. This means that they can gain access to your mind at any point. Your angel needs to communicate with you frequently so they can do an efficient job in protecting you.

There are angels who communicate with people by transferring thoughts from their minds to the minds of the people through telepathy. According to Debra Hall of Psychic Advisor, psychics can also do this by having thoughts that are brought about by Angels.

However, they are only able to do this if people grant them permission. No angel can read minds without being granted access, apart from guardian angels so you do not have to worry. In any case, angels will not read your minds for purposes other than good.

Angels do not spend their days simply eavesdropping on the thoughts of people. They do not go around sneaking around the minds of people. This is because they find no interest in where your mind wanders during the day, your dreams at night, or on what you say to yourself. But they do pay a lot of attention to what people think about God, such as silent prayers.

Angels are ministering spirits and will use the information they find in your mind not for evil, but for good such as interceding with God. You can trust them with access to your mind because you might find that they know more about you than you know about you. In days such as these when only a few people can be trusted with sensitive information and secrets about the world, it is hugely comforting to know that angels will not use their vast knowledge to hurt people.

Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote that it is only God who knows absolutely everything about what is in the minds of people. He added that it is God alone who has a full understanding of how people think and how it relates to their free will.

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Can angels reproduce supernaturally?

Can angels reproduce supernaturally?

The topic of angels tends to raise a lot of concerns to humankind. Most people ask questions, do angels reproduce? Do they have sex? Where do they come from? Are they the good people that die and go to heaven or who are they? Well, it’s hard to determine all these, since angels are supernatural beings. They don’t have any physical form; they are only spiritual beings. There are a lot of theories that revolve around angels regarding their existence. Here are some of the facts you would want to check out.

Can angels reproduce supernatural?

Well, this is a question that is not clearly indicated anywhere, including in the Bible. Now, you can base your answer on some biblical facts. There is nowhere indicates that an angel can reproduce a supernatural. However, the Bible explains as to where the angles come from. First of all, no spiritual being can give birth. Not the angel, not the demon. But the Bible indicates that angels were created by God, long before the man. So, God creates angels. They don’t marry, and they don’t reproduce. They are the sons of God created individually.

Do angels have sex?

Yes, angels can have sex. You cannot tell whether they do it regularly as humans, but yes they can. Angels cannot have sex while they are in spiritual form unless they take the form of a human. In the Bible, two angels went to Sodom to visit Lot. When the people saw them, they admired them and slept with them. So, this indicates that angels have sexuality only that they have to engage in sexual intercourse while in human form.

Can angels reproduce with humans?

Yes, an angel can reproduce with a human. The Bible indicates this. In the beginning, when the world was less populated, angels admired the daughters of men. They saw the women on earth beautiful. These angels took them for their wives. Thus, they bore children together. These children were giants and strongest of all. People who have seen angels, perhaps in dreams and vision, they describe them as beautiful and attracting creatures. Who knows, perhaps they can be sexually attractive to men.

Angels can’t reproduce amongst themselves. But when it comes to humans, yes they can. So, the generation of angels does not come from their reproduction. God creates them. Additionally, most people believe that when good guys die, they go to heaven to live with God like angels.

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Can Angels Hear our Thoughts?

Can Angels Hear our Thoughts?

In the realm of spirituality, there is no doubt that angels exist as one of the more positive and celestial entities. Angels are considered figures that sort of resemble a spirit guide in their purpose and overall mood. Angels are by definition good and are produced in good. However, despite the good that angels bring forth, they do not possess the same power as God, himself.

God is the entity in the realm of spirituality who is recognized largely as the one who knows all and sees all. In this equation, angels are not granted the same powers as God. Where God can hear all of our thoughts and comprehend each and every intention, it is without a doubt that angels are slightly different in their capabilities.

Guiding People in Need

Angels serve more as a sign of the good in the world and an insight into the nature of heaven itself. Perhaps angels have the ability to guide us in the way of good and to stay away from the less righteous path. But they do not possess the ability to actually hear our thoughts. Angels are able to help people who are in need and guide those who are in dire need of guidance because they possess the power to bring people closer to the light and right path.

Opposite of Evil

According to Gina, a psychic in Vancouver: “Angels are considered the counterpart of the devil, emphasizing immense greatness and goodness. Angels are said to take any form, here to guide us in whatever way will work.”

Though this seems like angels are aware of our inner and introspective thoughts and feelings, it is more so a general notion they feel about a person’s need of spiritual help and assurance.

There to Help

Angels can feel our innocent need for help when wished for with a good intention. We can look to people in our lives and wonder whether or not they are angels taking the form of people because some people do appear to possess the power to guide us to the better path of light.

Angels cannot hear our thoughts but they can process the balance of good and evil that exists within us. Angels are entities sent by God to help people and to assist on the journey to the afterlife. They are figures of hope and faith and they are able to bring peace to people through their strong presence. Angels are undoubtedly important to people despite their overt limitations.

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Can Angels Appear as Animals?

Can Angels Appear as Animals?

An angel is a spiritual being. Therefore, determining their true nature is difficult. To interact with human beings, angels assume different forms. They can appear as humans, animals, or any other creature. In other words, an angel can take any form to accomplish the intent of God.

Can angels appear as animals?

The answer to this question is yes. Angel are spirits. Hence, they can appear in various forms, including an animal form. They can appear as a dove, a donkey, a lion, or even a cat. Now, this does not mean that an angel can only appear like these animals. They can take any animal form. It is evident in the bible.

In the Bible, Balaam once headed to the Moabites officials God was unhappy and wanted to stop him. So He sent an angel who went and stood in the middle of the road, holding a sword. It’s not clear how the angel manifested himself. But Balaam didn’t notice the angel, but the donkey did. Balaam beat the donkey to move, but it couldn’t. Afterward, the angel took the form of that donkey and spoke to Balaam. An animal cannot speak, but in this case it did. It is a clear indicator that an angel can appear as an animal.

Also, in the story of Ezekiel, he saw a vision in heaven. He saw animals that have four wings. He also saw creatures that have faces of lion and oxen. These were angels that appeared like animals — the same case with John in the Book of revelation.  Here is the story of Ezekiel.

How do you tell when an animal is an angel?

It’s not easy to tell that an animal is an angel. Well, who knows? Maybe your pet at home is your guardian angel. You never know. That’s why it’s always important to treat everybody fairly, including the animals. We have heard many incidences where animals have saved people’s lives. For example, we have heard stories where animals have saved human beings from lethal accidents. So, the angel takes an animal form to save the humans who are in danger.

You cannot tell the presence of an angel unless you see the signs, since their presence, or see them in dreams and in visions — angels are spiritual creatures and a secret army of God. You don’t expect to meet on the road. They are invisible, but they are everywhere. They only appear as animals when they want to manifest themselves to serve a given purpose of God.

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Can Angels Take Human Form

Can Angels Take Human Form

It’s hard to imagine the look of angels. It’s because they are spiritual beings and do most of their work invisibly. Now, angels are real. They surround us everywhere we go to guide and protect us. Most people encounter angels in their dreams and visions. This is evidence that these creatures truly exist even though we can’t determine their actual form. Now, do angels take a human form?

Evidence that an angel can take a human form

To start with, angels do take a human form. According to the Bible, some people encountered angels in person. If you have read the story of Abraham, the angels appeared to him in the form of humans. They are the ones that informed him that he was going to have a son. They looked exactly like humans, and he couldn’t even realize that they were angels.

Similarly, the same happens in the story of Jesus. When Jesus rose from death, an angel opened the tombstone. When the two women, that is Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, went to check on him, they saw an angel sitting on the tombstone. The angel even talked to them, informing them that Jesus has arisen.

The bible is evident, and the things that happened are true. So, the fact that people have seen angels in the past is real. Angels may take different forms. They may appear in their heavenly form or human form. Sometimes, angels appear to people even without them knowing. You only see signs, dream about them, since their presence, and if you are lucky, you see them through an angelic insight.

What do angels look like?

According to the bible, angels usually assume human form specifically as men. There is no evidence that an angel appeared as a woman or a child. Now, this does not mean that all angels are male. It was only their manifestation. They had no wings, no feathers, they completely resembled a man.

Why would angels not appear is human form more frequently?

As stated earlier, angels are everywhere. But, the cases where angels have been seen taking a human form are rare. Perhaps they appear every time, only that we don’t realize it. Now, if angels would appears like human more often, they will be a great source distraction. We would not be able to focus on anything. Perhaps there would be insufficient enough space on earth for them and us.

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Activities for St Nicholas’ Day Telling the legends

The legends about St Nicholas bring together the Advent and Christmas themes of expectation, excitement, gift-giving and goodness. Retell some of the legends about St Nicholas. Children could act out the story when St Nicholas secretly gives gold coins to three poor women; or play a game trying to throw chocolate coins or sweets into three large Christmas stocking or a large bag.

Bringer of gifts

St Nicholas is the great gift-giver and kind man. Explore the theme of gift-giving with the children. Ask them why gifts are given at Christmas and what do they symbolise? Discuss with them whether they like giving presents and what sort of presents they choose for people. Encourage the children to consider what makes a gift precious. Then explain that St Nicholas gave gifts freely to those in need. He expected nothing in return.

With younger children: pass-the-parcel

To play this game the children’s leader needs to prepare a pass-the-parcel.  The parcel should contain a stocking/sock full of sweets, wrapped around with many layers of paper. After the discussion on gift-giving play pass-the-parcel with the younger children. While the parcel is being passed around the leader can sing Christmas songs. Whenever the leader stops singing, the child with the parcel unwraps a layer of paper. The winner is the child who unwraps the final layer and gets the present. Ask the winner
what St Nicholas would have done with the present. Would he have kept it for himself or shared it with the other children? It is hoped that the winner will get the message and share the sweets.

With mixed age groups: make a gift shoe

Encourage the children to discuss the customs they have at home during Advent and Christmas. They will come to realise every home is different.  Then explain some of the St Nicholas Day customs in Holland and Germany, including how children leave out their shoes for St Nicholas to fill. The children can make their own paper or cloth shoes to remind them of the custom.

You will need: paper, colouring and decorative materials, a stapler, scissors and small sweets, chocolate buttons or coins.

Get all the children to draw around one of their feet on a piece of paper and cut out the outline. Then ask them to draw around the top part of their foot on a second piece of paper and to cut this out. The top part of the shoe can then be stapled to the sole as shown in the diagram. Older children might prefer to use felt and sew the edges together. The children can decorate their shoes and fill them with small sweets to give to someone at home or in the congregation. They can write a greeting Happy St Nicholas’ Day – on the shoe or hang it up as a Christmas decoration.

This article was taken from Nicola Currie’s book “Festive Allsorts – Ideas for Celebrating the Christian Year”NS/CHP. Nicola Currie is Communications Officer in Worcester Diocese.

distributed by Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS)

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Male Unbifurcated Garments – What Are They?

M.U.G.s – Male Unbifurcated Garments

Unbifurcated garments – including cassocks, albs, rochet, kilts, robes – are traditionally male clothing that have been worn by men throughout history. They have been worn by all the men in the Bible, by Roman gladiators, Vikings, and Scottish Highlanders. They are still worn frequently by men in Scotland, throughout Africa, the Middle East, parts of Asia, and the Pacific islands, to name just a few examples.  This is credited in large measure to the Highland missionary zeal of a bygone day when the Biblical fashion was carried into all the world and the British Empire painted schoolroom world maps red!  Unbifurcated garments are far more comfortable and suitable to the male anatomy than trousers, because they don’t confine the legs or cramp the male genitals the way that trousers do.

Although there was a relatively brief period in history when manhood was symbolized by the wearing of trousers, this is no longer the case. Today trousers have become unisexgarments that women wear most of the time. In North America, for example, a guy wearing blue jeans will find himself dressed the same as perhaps 90 per cent of the girls. If a man wishes to distinguish his masculinity through clothing, he would do much better by strapping on a cassock or alb or perhaps a real Scottish kilt.

Male unbifurcated garments (we’ll call them M.U.G.s for short) come in several forms. By far the most famous and well accepted is the kilt – especially the familiar Scottish variety, made of tartan wool and worn with knee sox and a pouch in front called a sporran.

This is perhaps the most ecumenical style.  The sporran provides a convenient place where the devout cleric may keep his Breviary and Rosary through the week.

Men’s kilts may also come in a variety of styles – solid colours, lighter weights, alternative fabrics – and may be worn with or without the traditional Scottish accoutrements.

The Clergy tartan has been described as the only occupational tartan. It is seen in a few variations, including a blue and a green version.  Why the different tartans? Do they represent different types of clergy? Let’s look at what we know.

There is a tradition that Highland clergy wore Highland clothing, but were instructed not to wear bright colours. Allegiance to Orders was primary over fidelity to hearth and the tartan worn would remind the cleric of a higher calling.  The first evidence we have of a tartan for clerics is from the records of the weaving firm Wilsons of Bannockburn, c. 1830.  They called their tartan of black, lavender, and light blue “Priest.”  Why they called it that is a subject of great ecclesiastical debate. Most likely they thought “Priest” was a suitable name for a tartan in muted colours that nobody else wanted to wear.

Tartan researcher James Logan next illustrated the design inThe Scottish Gael, published in 1831, under the more ecumenical name “Clergy.”  He changed the light blue and lavender of the Wilsons’ design to white and grey, and one pivot was different.  The tartan is next seen in The Authenticated Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland, published in 1850 by William and Andrew Smith. They attempted to reproduce the tartan as given by Logan, but with Wilsons’ colouration. However, there were problems with the production methods.  Sometimes lavender was mistakenly used for stripes that should have been black. And the light blue in some copies of the book turned out a green-grey. Variations occurred from one edition to the next, and sometimes between copies of the same edition.  If anyone wonders why there are often different versions of the same tartan in circulation, this sort of occurrence is usually to blame!

By 1850, and the publication of the Smiths’ work, the tradition had already been established that this was the tartan early worn by clerics.  They write, “Down till a very recent period, this pattern was generally used by the Clergy in the Highlands for their week-day habiliments; and even now the secular mantle or plaid of the priesthood in the North is not infrequently made of this, or similar kinds of stuff.”

The “Clergy” tartan was next illustrated by James Grant in 1886, in The Tartans of the Clans and Septs of Scotland. He used blue in place of lavender, including for two lines that should have been black, (apparently copying the error from one of the Smiths’ books). In his text, however, he says that the tartan was white, black and grey. This would indicate that he intended to illustrate the tartan from Logan’s work, but the publisher substituted a different illustration. In later editions of his book, the text described the tartan as dark blue, light blue, and black, but in the illustration this time light blue was rendered as green!

Lastly, in the first edition of The Setts of the Scottish Tartans, D. C. Stewart attempted to make a compromise between Wilsons’ and Logan’s settings.  This had the undesired effect of creating yet another variation.  In later editions this was amended.

Where does the Clark family tartan come into all this? Both “clergy” and “clark” – “clerk” –  have the same root in Latin – clericus.  The Clergy tartan seems to have been used by the Clark family for that reason.  In fact, in some nineteenth century records, the tartan is identified by both names.  The practice today that many tartan weavers follow of rendering the Clergy tartan in more muted tones than the Clark tartan is a convention adopted to allow for distinction between those wearing the tartan for family connections, and those wearing it because they are ordained ministers.

There is no such thing as a “right” or “entitlement” to wear a tartan.  However, when you wear a named tartan, you are identifying yourself with whatever that tartan represents.  As the “Clergy” tartan is widely recognized as representing the ministry, just ask yourself if you would feel comfortable wearing a Clerical collar, or a monk’s robes (another unbifurcated garment)!

The “Clergy” tartan does not represent any particular sect or denomination.  While it is perhaps most popularly used by ministers of the Church of Scotland (Presbyterians), there is no evidence to suggest that its use was ever limited to one group.  Keep in mind that until the Reformation of the sixteenth century, all of Scotland was Catholic.  Even after that time, the Highlands of Scotland remained Catholic much longer than the Lowlands. And while Presbyterians are most common among Protestants, you also have the Church of England, the Scottish Episcopal Church, and many other denominations in more recent times.  Yet the Clergy tartan was never mentioned in association with one particular sect.  It was always simply said to be used by “Highland Clergy.”

Any “Clergy” tartan can be worn by any cleric of any stripe. Many ministers and priests who wear their clan tartans, and a solid black kilt would look stunning with clerical dress.

In the case of the “Clergy” tartan, wearing this will imply to people that you are involved in ministry. Out of respect for those who actually are ordained clergy, most people would consider it very inappropriate for a non-minister to wear this tartan.

But for those in the ministry, any “Clergy” tartan will do. Just wear the one you like the best (though you will find that if you want anything other than the blue Clergy tartan, you may have to have the cloth woven – much like Henry Ford’s oft-quoted comment of the Model ‘T’, where you could get it in whatever colour you liked, as long as it was black).

Some hold that certain variations of the Clergy tartan are for Catholics and others are for Protestants. This is unfounded. The Clergy tartan has never been restricted for members of one particular sect or denomination. Of course the two main religious bodies in Scotland are the Presbyterians (Church of Scotland), and Catholics, followed third by Anglicans (Church of England).

The “Clergy” tartan can be worn by any man of the cloth! Not that members of the clergy have to wear “Clergy” tartan. Many ministers and priests wear their clan tartans. And a solid black kilt looks stunning with clerical dress. And one “Dark Douglas” kilt (Lochcarron’s black on black version of House of Edgar’s “Dark Isle” tartan) is worn by an Anglican priest, who wanted a solid black kilt, but also wanted a tartan.

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A Child’s Christmas in Scarborough

Whenever I remember Christmas as a child in Scarborough, I can never remember whether the slush was new or old, or whether we lived on the sixth street north of the shopping plaza stoplights and I was seven years old, or whether it was the seventh street and I was six. But still my nose and fingertips tingle at the thought of Christmas in the row-housing, whose names rang their challenging, forlorn ways down to the fast-backed, nerve and gear-wracking lanes of the freeway: Elegance Manors, Tweedingham Mews, Buckingham Back Courts; and I am again a boy among boys, riding our crash-barred, chrome-bedazzling bikes through the supermarket swing doors, grabbing girls toques and Popsicles in the Mac’s Milk and diving with our arms spread to make angels in the snow-banks that the ploughs churned up, plunging our hands to the soggy, stitch-straining armpits and pulling out, as I am doing now, uncles with ham-red hands, scratchy and sizzling-hot in their wife-bought cable-knits and après ski, who through the live-long Christmas afternoons watched the Buffalo Bills and the Los Angeles Rams battling in full colour on a purple field, and sat through Sugar Bowls and Dust Bowls, Cotton and Flannel Bowls until the punch bowl was emptied for the last time and they moved up the queasy, shifting stairs from the rec-room to the hall. And clear as the chlorinated water in the taps, but not so clear as a secret rivulet in the snows that we boys found near the highway that was gone in the spring when the hill was cleared for a condominium, I see Uncle Harry turning away the Salvation Army girl at the door and making us all laugh as she fell on the path on the ice I should have chipped away.

Christmas in Scarborough was nothing if it was not families and laughter. But before the compacts and the late-models and the single sports car owned by Aunt Hetty, the divorcee, who bought the Fugs record, before the hoards of uncles and aunts and cousins jousted for a parking spot and the superintendent appeared to ask us to remove a car that had been parked in someone elses spot, there were the presents that smoothed Fathers absence due to overtime, and Mothers voice raised in the kitchen downstairs while the supper held in the stove at low heat congealed.

And there were disappointments, for as one scavenged among boxes and ribbons and discarded batteries from robots that never worked, and broken strings from suddenly mute Talking Barbies, there had to be one, small, bright and unutterably just right present that lies forever hiding over the rim of memory even now, as I remember, I can see it dancing somewhere in the dark room before sleep, and even in the dreams of Christmas night, when I ran through the vanished fields of our subdivision and climbed and tumbled in the haylofts of the vanished barns, it was there amongst the ghosts of swallows and blue jays and horses — all gone now, like the words we wrote in last year’s snow: Fanny Hill puts out. And, in the moonlight in the dark of the yard unlit by streetlights because of Charlie’s air rifle and where no car would desecrate its stillness and the dark velvet of its shadows with the cold incandescence of its lights, I crept close to the sleeping whaleback of the hay-breathing house. I stole past the oaken veneer majesty of my parents’ door, and finally warm in the acrylic goose down of my bed above orchards and cockcrow and the sailing ship moon on the skating pond; I slept until dawn sped back the whole farm and the cattle and the soft-eyed horses back to the darkest corner of my room where the sun never shines and socks can sometimes be found amid the slut’s wool.

And then it was afternoon: and all the cousins, friends of friends, who had been stuffed into spare rooms and cautioned to nap because they had stayed up all night in candy-caned anticipation of catching Santa and delayed for a day his return to the department store throne, were awakened and sent off into the streets. And, waking from a dream in which I chased the blue and white stocking-capped boys, bigger boys from the skating rink at City Hall, glimpsed once on television, I dress in my fur-lined boots, was stuffed into station wagons with protesting uncles who drove as though the football games of all the world were punting in the shadows of the last-minute goalposts. And then we were sliding down the slopes of everlasting snow, everlasting for as long as the machine flew Niagaras of chipped ice over its diesel-throbbing back. And there, in that spinning time, I have my ski-lift ticket stapled to me, as though I were my own receipt for being, and hug for dear day the live cable that pulls me to the top and almost doesn’t let go, and then I am poised on last year’s skis, and am ready to take my turn. And then I do that. And I do it again, and then I come home for tea, uncles and the barracks of my Christmas soon-to-be-forgotten child’s life.

And I remember that Aunt Hetty, who was the centre of attention in the kitchen but was not allowed in to help with the gossip, lay stretched out on the Spanish sofa, her soft, brandy-breath keeping Ernie, her latest lover, stupefied. Then Uncle Herbert appeared from the depths of the basement like a drunken porpoise and chased the whole kitchen gaggle with a plastic spring of mistletoe, and came to a bad end with his elbow in the gravy boat. Then Father phoned from Number 41 Station to say that he had been in the eggnog again and that he would be detained, and Mother drank the cooking sherry, and the turkey went unbased. Then Uncle Frank who had been a stockbroker and then a convict tried again to dance the Windfall of ’65 and fell through the picture window. Then the neighbours knocked on the wall and we knocked on the neighbour’s wall and then the police came.

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Benedictine Prayer – Lectio Divina

Dating from the 5th century, Divine Reading, Lectio Divina, is comprised of a ladder with 4 steps…

  1. Reading you should seek;
  2. Meditating, you will find;
  3. Praying, you shall call; and
  4. Contemplating, the door will be opened to you!

Reading appeals especially to the SensingJudging personality type

Either by reading Scripture or other devotional material, we actively seek after the Word of God and divine truth. This is coming into the presence of revealed truth and His Presence revealed to us in this way.

Meditation appeals especially to the appeals especially to the appeals especially to the iNtuitiveThinking personality type.

We welcome the Word of God into our lives and turn it from a dead word into the living word and presence of God. We need to ruminate upon the Word of God as a cow does upon its cud. We bring to life the meaning of divine revelation as we personalize and adapt it to our daily living. We can project ourselves into the biblical story (Ignatian Spirituality) or we can transpose the story and apply it to ourselves today. In either case, our use of our imagination is important and valuable!

Prayer appeals especially to the iNtuitiveFeeling and SensingPerceiving personality type

This is not a monolog with our speaking to God…but our response to revealed truth… we decide whether we will incorporate the Word of God into our heart, our life, our work or whether we will rationalize a rejection of its efficacy for us. See 2 Timothy 3.16. Our response is expressed through words, thoughts, desires, feelings, resolutions, decisions, commitments, dedications; or through sorrow for past failures; through gratitude, praise, petition.

We can use the four different kinds of prayer described by the acronym, ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.

True prayer is, first and foremost, listening to God speaking to us and then, secondarily, responding to God’s words for us.

Contemplation appeals especially to the iNtuitiveFeeling personality type

We must give God ample opportunity to reveal himself to us. We cannot hurry God. See Psalm 46:11. Having prepared ourselves by reading, meditation and prayer, we now await whatever graces God might see fit to send our way.

The Four Steps may be taken in any order we choose so that one may go from one to the other and then back again. A spiritual journal is frequently a great help to people using Lectio Divina. In it we note any insights that come to us during our reading, meditation, and contemplation. We also enter in our responses during the Prayer time.

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