Happy Sts. Peter & Paul Day!

July 12/June 29

Icon of Saints Peter (left) and Paul (right).

The long Apostles’ Fast is over!

Greetings on this ancient, joyful feast day, commemorating the Holy Apostles Saints Peter and Paul. They are celebrated together because of their great roles in the Church as fathers and guides to all Christians.

O first-enthroned among the apostles and teachers of the whole world: Entreat the Master of all, that He grant peace to the world: and great mercy to our souls. ~ Troparion of Apostles Peter & Paul (Tone 4)

With hymns of praise let us honour the true preachers of piety, the all-radiant stars of the Church: Peter, the rock of Faith, and Paul, the teacher of the truth and initiate of the mysteries of Christ. For both of them having sown the word of truth in the ears of the faithful beseech Christ God Who giveth fruitfulness unto all, that our souls be saved. ~ Stichera for Apostles Peter & Paul (Tone 6)

Remembering the Old English Poem associated with the tradition of harvesting lavender on (or around) this particular Feast Day, we added a small, fresh bouquet of Provence Lavender at the festal icon of Saints Peter and Paul. “If you wish lavender bushy and tall, then tend on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.

We have 4 lavender bushes that need “tending”. Their harvested stems are bundled securely into individual bouquets, (but not too tightly, and making sure they’re not damp) then hung upside down (flowers at bottom) to dry in the house, avoiding direct sunlight. It can take about 3 weeks for the stems and flowers to dry. Meanwhile, the house smells amazing! Lavender can easily be made into drawer/closet/car sachets, sleep pillows, or kept/shared as a dried floral wall decoration. If they dry straight enough, you can pop them into a dry vase to keep. I also strip some buds off several stems and put them in a lidded glass jar and stored in a dark kitchen cupboard- for use in… tea, lemonade, vinaigrettes, or baking. During winter use, it’s a joy to remember they were picked on a sunny summer Saints’ Day! Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, pray to God for us!

Culinary Lavender Summer Recipes…
Lavender-Rose Vegan Mini Mochi
Lavender Dream Cookies

Happy Saint’s Day – Reader Peter H.! May God grant you many years!

Memory Eternal – J. Paul T. 🐓 and Paul G.!

Drying the Flowers From the Cross

…the wood of the Cross hath now put for flower, filling her (the church) with strength and steadfastness. ~ Ode 4, Katavasia of the Cross

Flowers (above) from the recent Procession of the Precious Cross were collected and removed from their oasis boards yesterday. All petals were pulled, separated, and spread out onto a large, hanging, mesh-dryer herb rack – purchased through Amazon a few years ago.

This foldable rack is used each summer to dry our organic herbs and edible flowers for teas, sachets and sleep pillows. It takes about 2 + weeks to dry properly and completely, before storing them in a sealed glass jar, or enclosing them in a sachet bag, or cotton pillow case.

I excluded the “inedible” anemones from this particular drying process, and put them in the compost bin.

If possible, one should never toss out flowers used to decorate icons or the Cross. Do try to compost or reuse them.

Old, blessed pussy willows or Palm Leaves from Palm Sunday, should either be composted, buried, or burned and buried.

Every flower is fragrant through the power of the Holy Spirit, in a delicate flow of aroma and tenderness of colour; the beauty of the Great contained in what is small. Praise and honour to God, Who gives life, Who spreads forth the meadows like a flowering carpet, Who crowns the fields with golden ears of wheat and azure basilisks, and the soul – with the joy of contemplation. Let us rejoice and sing to Him: Alleluia. ~ Akathist: Glory to God for All Things, Kontak. 3

May your day be noticeably Fragrant with the Holy Spirit!

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