Monthly Archives: December 2014

Send a Catholic Christmas Card and Ornament Celebrating a Popular Carol and Keep the Tradition Going

Glass Disc Ornament Set

Glass Disc Ornament Set

Singing from the heart over the birth of Christ started with the angels. The gospel of Luke recounts the appearance of a multitude of heavenly beings who burst forth in songful praise to the Glory of God and goodwill toward men. Since that night, singing praise over the gift of Christmas has remained an integral part of celebrating Jesus’ birth.

Early Christmas Carols
Within the first century after Christ, special hymn music for the holiday was being written and performed. Christmas carols, as we now call them, are so named from a French term (carole) meaning joyful song or circle dance. Many early carols were composed in Latin, the language of the church but not of the common people. For this reason, carol singing lost popularity until the 1200s when St Francis arranged nativity plays which included songs sung in the language of the common folk. The carols were popular but not seen as church music. Instead, they were the entertaining music sung by minstrels in the streets of town.

Going A-Caroling
Carols remained popular and spread until the English Puritans began to frown upon the common music not deemed sufficiently reverential. It was not until the Reformation took hold that Christmas hymns/carols enjoyed a revival among church leaders eager to make faith accessible for everyday people. The practice of carol singing perhaps reached its heights during the Victorian Age. It was during Victorian times that people first began to go “a-caroling” singing the songs of the season and collecting alms from house to house.

Renewing Interest in Christmas Carols
The monks of Conception Abbey want to help you celebrate the coming of the Christ child. Choose a Catholic Christmas card to send and then pick out one of several ornaments they have which draw on popular Christmas carols.

The Twelve Days of Christmas ornaments are simple decorations which depict the dozen gifts in the English carol.
Little Drummer Boy features Mary snuggling infant Jesus to her heart while in her skirt folds, the little drummer boy plays his music to welcome the King.
O Night Divine is a hand-painted glass ornament with a tender image of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus
Silent Night, Holy Night is a deep blue ornament reminiscent of the holy night when Christ came to earth in a humble stable
We Three Kings is a vibrant ornament depicting the journey of the eastern kings en route to bow before the King of Kings. This ornament is available in glass or carved and painted wood-like resin.

This season, remember how St Francis brought singing back into practice. Think of the Victorians who went from house to house singing of His Coming. Help others remember too by sending them a meaningful Catholic Christmas card and using carol-inspired ornaments to revive the habit of joyful Christmas singing. Go online to see The Printery House ornament collection or to choose your 2014 Catholic Christmas card.

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Religious Christmas Cards That Celebrate the Christmas Tree

Prepare the Way of the Lord

Prepare the Way of the Lord

The evergreen with its unchanging verdant appearance even in deepest winter has for a long time been a symbol of eternal life, but it has only been associated with the Christian celebration of Christmas since the gospel came to Europe.

The Tree is an Ancient Symbol
Church fathers in ancient Rome decried the use of evergreen because of its association with Emperor worship. However, by the time the first missionaries arrived in Germany attitudes had begun to shift. Later, in the 1500s, Christmas trees came to be associated with the remembrance of Jesus’ birth. It is believed this came about because part of the Christmas celebration hearkened back to the Creation story complete with a Paradise Tree decorated with fruit. As these public plays linking Creation and Christmas were outlawed, people simply brought their beloved Paradise Tree into the privacy of their homes. Over time, the fruit ornaments were exchanged for wafer cookies imitating the communion wafer.

The Tree Enters Mainstream Christianity
Early church leaders worried that the tree took attention away from Jesus, but popular culture traditions are hard to overcome. Trees remained popular and eventually started appearing even inside the church. The reformer Martin Luther approved of trees and the emphasis on lights in a world of darkness. It was around this time that the trees also became commonly associated with gift-giving. Christian gift-giving at Christmas is most often traced to a Turkish bishop named St Nicholas who is remembered for giving presents to children of the poor.

The Christmas tree is now one of the most iconic symbols of this major Christian holiday. Yet, even though Christmas trees are ubiquitous, few know the story behind them. What fun to send religious Christmas cards that celebrate this long-standing Christmas symbol. The Printery House offers several religious Christmas cards which celebrate the tree.

The Christmas Tree
This attractive card includes the Legend of the Christmas Tree on the inside. Legend says that the Paradise Tree was cursed by Adam and Eve’s sin but was restored to life on the night of Jesus’ birth.

The Blessing of the Christmas Tree
This card carries a trendy Christmas tree design which is filled with a prayer of blessing for the Christmas tree.

Tis the Season
Perfect for your north Atlantic island friends or anyone who appreciates Irish art. The cleverly designed tree is actually constructed of Celtic knots.

See What Love the Father has Given Us
This beautiful Christmas card front bears a colorful Christmas tree with a superimposed image of the Nativity.

Jesus came to earth at Christmas to bring eternal life. It is fitting to honor His unending life and love with a green tree in winter. This year, send religious Christmas cards which celebrate the tree as a symbol of the Lord.

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Use Catholic Christmas Cards to Connect With Loved Ones

A Christmas Prayer

A Christmas Prayer

Choosing the year’s Christmas greeting card is a fun and meaningful decision – especially when there are so many choices. Some families like quaint cards and some like those with a cute design. Others decide based on the text and prefer artwork that is understated. Whichever kind you like best, Catholic Christmas cards from The Printery House have just the right look and message for you. Here is a sample of what you’ll find online at The Printery House.

Unique Miracle of Christmas Collection
The Miracle of Christmas cards boast a muted black and white winter photo on the outside along with a bible verse and contemplative prayer on the inside. The cards are handmade and composed by the monks of Conception Abbey making them truly unique.

Spirit of Christmas Assortment
With a more colorful and contemporary look, the Spirit of Christmas cards will appeal to those looking for specific messaging. Bright, modern artwork from artists, including the renowned author/illustrator Tomie dePaola combine with prayers for current issues like good stewardship of the earth and peace to reign in the world.

Christmas Classics
Classic Catholic Christmas cards feature lovely works of traditional art, some taken from the Beuronesem murals in the Abbey itself. The tried and true images of the nativity are like miniature paintings matched with the timeless words of Scripture.

Good Form for Form Letters
Once you’ve chosen your cards, your next decision is whether or not to compose a letter to be included in the cards. Here are a few tips if you decide on a family newsletter.

1. Begin with a cheerful word. Something like “We love connecting with family and friends at this time of year! Or, Blessings of the Season from our home to yours!” Begin your letter on a joyful note.

2. Less really is more. If your letter is too long people will set it aside to be read later and may never actually get to it. Be brief and only mention a few highlights from the year.

3. Write simply and clearly. Your goal is communication and highlights of the year.

4. Family letters are probably not appropriate for business associates. Try organizing your card list according to: family, friends, business, other (social clubs, neighbors, church etc.)

5. Fewer photos is a good thing. Focus on one or two good pictures that really highlight your family.

Form letters save you time, but they can’t replace personal words. Even large group letters need a line or two written in your own hand to the recipients. Browse through our Catholic Christmas cards online and choose a design that suits your family’s personality. Then, form letter or not, find a few personal words to share. At The Printery House we offer cards that can help you connect with friends and family this Christmas season.

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Start a New Advent Tradition: Make a Jesse Tree

Jesse Tree Ornaments

Jesse Tree Ornaments

Advent, which is a Latin word meaning Coming has come to represent a season of spiritual preparation leading up to Christmas and the coming of the Christ child. It mirrors the Lenten season of preparation in spring before remembrance of the death of Christ. Both traditions were intended to prepare the hearts and minds of believers who would be baptized during those special celebrations

Early Advent Tradition
In the early centuries of the church when believers did not own bibles and many could not read, the church aided contemplation through visual works of art. Wood cuttings, stained glass windows and illuminations depicted the story of Christ’s long-awaited coming. The medieval church sometimes used a tree with simple ornaments to illustrate the story. At first, the Advent tradition emphasized the genealogy of Christ as recorded in Matthew’s gospel account.

Later on, the western European believers incorporated use of an evergreen circle, the Advent wreath, to contemplate not only the ancestry of Jesus, but the biblical events which foretold of the One who would bring peace, hope and light. In more modern times, the Advent calendar has become a popular means of preparing individuals and families to appreciate the culmination of promises.

The Jesse Tree
An increasingly popular Advent tradition is the Jesse Tree. The tree is named for the promise of Isaiah 11:1 which says “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.” Jesus, of course, is the righteous Branch growing from the root of Jesse (father of King David). While the ancient church identified individuals in their Advent celebration, the Jesse Tree builds on the idea of the Advent wreath and highlights events in the Biblical story.

All of the stories reveal the scarlet thread of redemption woven into God’s perfect Word. Each day, a bible story is read that shows how God was redeeming and rescuing people all through the Old Testament. Each story is represented on the tree by an ornament. The creation story, for instance, may be represented by a globe ornament, the story of Ruth by a sheaf of wheat. Micah’s foretelling that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem is pictured by a miniature village.

Buy For Yourself or Give as a Gift
You can make your own Jesse Tree, but you can also buy ornaments for your tree. The Printery House offers a boxed set of 28 colorful and meaningful ornaments to be hung on a Jesse Tree. Every ornament in the set comes with its own card giving the corresponding bible passage and an appropriate prayer.

Kids and grown-ups alike will enjoy the opportunity to see how God has been at work calling a people to Himself and promising good to those who heed His call from the very start. Make this Christmas more meaningful than ever for your family by using a Jesse Tree, or give a box of ornaments to children you love.

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