Feasting all over.

We are celebrating one of our parish feast days, and I was blessed to be at Vigil tonight. The hymns and readings for the feast are the same every year, but the arrangements and singers and various aspects change, so that every service is both comforting in its familiar traditions and beautifully unique.

At a festal vigil the Five Loaves are blessed and broken for us to eat, to sustain us during what can be a long service; and we receive anointing with holy oil as another way to participate bodily. The Vigil service includes parts of the Vespers and Matins services and is the first part of the feast, which concludes in the morning.

The caterpillars on my milkweed plants are partaking of a different sort of food.  They have been traveling among all the different species of Asclepias, including the new plants just set out. Though there are fewer of them now, it’s good to see their survival instincts operating.

The day that I set off for Pippin’s place last week, I received a quantity of quinces by way of a friend of a friend, which anonymous friend drove several miles from another town to drop them off at church, so that I could pick them up on my way north. They sat in the back of my car for those several days, and this week I processed them. They turned out to be very wormy, but they were so big and numerous that after quite a lot of trimming and slicing, I ended up with a few quarts. I poached them with lemon, sugar and a cinnamon stick. I froze most of them but have been enjoying one quart right away.


In the past I have mostly baked them, and that was much easier. I love quince and am sad that so few people have trees anymore. I have put out queries some years to search out whether anyone knows of unwanted quinces I could take; this batch came to me completely out of the blue, unasked for.

Divine Liturgy for the feast will be in the morning, the celebration of the Eucharist. That will make it feel like Sunday, but it’s Saturday…. and besides feasting, I’ll be gardening — and resting, because I’ve been running around a lot!

I leave you with one of the readings from this evening’s service, which refers to a hearty feast of wisdom:

PROVERBS 9:1-11

Wisdom has built her house,
she has hewn out her seven pillars,
she has slaughtered her meat, she has mixed her wine,
she has also furnished her table.
She has sent out her maidens,
she cries out from the highest places of the city,
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
“Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.
Forsake foolishness and live,
and go in the way of understanding.
He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself,
and he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.
Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
give instruction to a wise man,
and he will be still wiser;
teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For by me your days will be multiplied,
and years of life will be added to you.”

9 thoughts on “Feasting all over.

  1. I learned about quinces just a few years ago. There are two quince trees on the neighbouring street, or I should say there were two, now there is only one. One man took his down because he didn’t want to deal with the fallen fruit. Your poached fruit looks delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never tasted quince and to the best of my knowledge I haven’t even seen any. Maybe they don’t grow around here. Too bad the ones you were given were wormy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had never heard of quince until I was in Germany visiting a friend back in `2011. Oldest daughter was almost a year and a half old, and my friend’s mother-in-law had made quince jam, which was out for breakfast since they have quince trees on the property. Oldest daughter could not get enough of it, and they sent us off with a jar of it. They’ve even sent us a jar a couple of times since. We found quince jam once or twice since (once was at a cooking superstore in Green Bay which has long since closed) but it tasted nothing like the homemade stuff.

    We decided that when we got our own place, we’d plant quince, and that’s what we did, ordering a couple of spindly sticks off of etsy back in 2014. This year is the first year there has been any indication of fruit, and between the two trees, there is exactly one quince fruit.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Second quick comment – We found in the picturebooks at the public library in Sandpoint, Idaho, a book about applesauce (I believe the title is applesauce, applesauce) but at the end of the book is a recipe for applesauce, and it includes quince! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve heard of quince jam/jelly. A friend of my mother used to love it and had a hard time finding anyone who made it. I’ve never seen the fruit before. We’ve had ornamental quince bushes (flowering quince) before in our yards, but it bears no fruit. Its blooms are so pretty and come early.

    Liked by 1 person

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