We celebrated the feast of St. Joseph yesterday! With cream, and cheese, and squid. It was absolutely amazing. St. Joseph got his prominent place at the table, with bread and salt around him, candles, and a little silk bird to call in the springtime.
I've really been thinking this year, especially after all the Catholic negativity toward St. Valentine's day. Why do we neglect our own feast days - St. Joseph's , St. Valentines' - in favor of greeting-card holidays? I've never been particularly passionate about Mother's and Father's Day. Mother's Day tends toward the sappy and Father's Day is too often just pathetic. Another excuse for women to remind their husbands just how much less than motherhood they value fatherhood.
But St. Joseph's day has the potential to be a richer 'father's' day. A time to bless the men in our lives with love and honor, and not just the fathers. St. Joseph is a universal patron: of men, of families, of workers, of virgins, of the church. His day is a celebration of a good man's life - a life lived in obedience to God. It's the calling of every man. Father's day is for father's only, but our lives are full of men deserving a feast of their own. Husbands, brothers, friends - men who may or may not ever have children of their own, but who - like St. Joseph - have turned their lives into living Icons.
So we set up the table, and set out some gifts. I'd intended to give gifts to Seth, but Yarrow seemed to think that on our family patron's day, we ought all get gifts, so we did. Little gifts for her and me, and a larger one for our man.
We put the presents on the altar - Yarrow's present on her own little altar, and when Seth came home from work we opened them, drank coffee with cream, and feasted on good food and a quiet night together. Then we prayed the Litany of St. Joseph before bed, and left the Icon's candle burning through the night, to keep the dark at bay and bless the transition back from feast to fast.
How do you celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph?