"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Best

Pearls, a natural complement to Sunday Best.
Stored in the bowl that was a gift from Wendy, they are even more special.
 It has been my experience that a Sunday can either be the best day of the week or the most horrible.  It can be a day of grace, blessings, good food, handshakes, smiles and naps or it can be a day of dread:    the emptiness at the end of a weekend, the prospect of work to be done, chores to be organized and the nervousness that grips us as we contemplate a new, and perhaps tiring, week.

I have the solution to this, well there's only one solution, and it involves making certain that Sunday is your Best Day.

My recipe for Sunday Best:  Sleep in, but not too late.  Make something nice for breakfast, do some soothing stretches or go for a walk, then haul your Sunday Best Outfits out of your cupboard.
Brora Tweed Suit
Brooks Brothers Ten Button Jacket and Skirt
Smythson Antonia Clutch
 I have two skirt suits that make up my Sunday Best, a couple of Brora cashmere jumpers, a nice small handbag in a festive shade of red, and some really pretty shoes.
I can interchange the skirt suits with each other and I did the math: it totals four outfits.  That's a month of Sundays right there.
Classic Salvatore Ferragamo Black Pumps with Bow
Sunday Best Shoes
 Going to church is a priority for me.  I grew up in the Catholic faith and now I attend Anglican service, it's a fairly "High Anglican" service so it speaks to the Catholic in me.  We were married there, our youngest rascal christened there, it's where I like to be on a Sunday morning, at 10:30, wearing my Sunday Best and with the hymn book in my hand.

I'm thinking of making Sunday Best a regular feature of the blog.  I'd love to share with you some thoughts and quotes that I might take away from the Homily or the bulletin at my service.  I often feel so inspired that I am brought to tears.  Now I am not encouraging crying by any means but you may also find some grace in a little thought or quote.  Being religious is not a requirement.

You don't have to be religious to contemplate love.  This, from today's bulletin:

"LOVE...

God invites us to inhabit love, as we might inhabit music.  Love is a kind of silent music- a still, small voice, a sound of sheer silence- that surrounds us on every side.  The music of a still small voice that can so easily be overwhelmed by the cacophony of our lives."
(Br. Mark Brown SSJE)


Sunday Lunch
Love can also be found in home-cooked food, which is why I like to trot home from church, throw my apron on over my Sunday Best, and cook up a proper lunch.
Today it was oven roasted frites, salad with fresh dill and chicken sauteed in a cream sauce.  If you'd like the recipes head back tomorrow, that will be a feature on Mop Philosophy Monday.

How do you make Sunday your Best Day?  Have you also had the experience of Sunday as the Most Horrible Day?
Hope this Sunday holds lots of Love for you,
xoxDani


35 comments:

  1. Every week differs...today is so grey and rainy here that I just want it to be Monday already. I haven't been to church regularly since I was a teenager but I love to light candles.

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    1. Naomi those are just the kind of Sundays that I dread, I've had quite a few. I have very few friends who go to church anymore and it's such a generational shift, when I was growing up it was something everyone did. (But of course that was a small town, things are different there.)
      Lighting the candles in memory or prayer is always on the go at my church! It is a gesture that is both contemplative yet active... maybe that's why it is so meaningful.

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  2. Hi Dani, well, we don't make it to church every Sunday but it is nice when we do. Time to really sit and contemplate. I must say that people don't get dressed up for church like they used to (at least in our neck of the woods). Your vicar must see you as a breath of fresh air!!

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    1. Hi Patricia, it's true people don't get dressed up for church as they used to... to me it's one of the best bits about it but of course not everyone enjoys it. Quite a few of the older ladies still wear skirt suits, I always like to check out their outfits. ;)

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  3. This post was really lovely Dani, so thank you for making me smile. I love the idea of Sunday Best, and will look forward to the feature. I agree wholeheartedly with your advice for starting off a Sunday well. What a thoughtful quote you've shared as well, I appreciate it. I only wish I could jump into that home cooking that you do so well -- it just doesn't come as joyfully to me. Oh well, I try! Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Hi M, I'm so happy you liked the post. I have found that Sundays can be quite depressing if I don't take hold of the day with some structure and something uplifting! That lunch was so easy and makes for a good dinner too, I'll post the recipes tomorrow and then you can try it, your little guy would love it too!

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  4. I support Sunday Best! I love Sunday mornings. It's usually a "bacon day" for us and a chance to relax in the am with nowhere to go unless we've made plans. We try to do things that don't require any stress or rushing about. I used to despair on Sunday nites when I worked a traditional corporate job. I'm not exaggerating. I would cry, get headaches, etc... I'm glad I had the courage to quit that job.

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    1. Gigi that sounds terrible! I'm so happy you quit that job. Isn't it amazing the havoc that anxiety puts our bodies through... your Sunday sounds cozy and excellent!

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    2. Gigi, I did that with school, I used to MAKE myself sick so that I didn't have to go, it was a terrible phobia, I was hard work as a kid.

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  5. Hi Dani, this post resonates as for a while now I've been contemplating how to take our Sundays back! And I was REALLY thinking about this as I folded laundry and put it away, and make beds, for a big chunk of the afternoon.

    The fact that your church has service at 10:30 is really wonderful--it is indeed the perfect time, allowing a bit of a lie-in but not too late for lunch. You are lucky!

    I know a lot of people have strayed away from church for a number of reasons. But I think it invites us--and in fact enables us--to do a number of things things that are positive and indeed essential: being together, being mindful, and keeping one day of the week a day of rest and family.

    Unfortunately, at this point in my life, if church happens, it is not a moment for "Sunday best"--God welcomes us as we are at 9 am after a long week ;) But I love the idea of your series and will definitely chime in!

    I hope your evening is as wonderful as your day! :) Amy

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    1. Hi Amy, 9am is tough. To get there in time with kids would be a real challenge! Not only is our service at 10:30 but it is around the corner from our house, we can walk there in 5 minutes. The summer service is at 8:30 and we never make it!
      I agree that it is an effort to take Sundays back, and though I was still doing the laundry and the dishes yesterday afternoon it felt like a special day anyway, the service and our lunch... at one time I dreaded Sundays and I had to turn it around. I find they can be very depressing days for me without the effort!
      I hope you and the family are well!

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  6. dani - beautiful post! Did I ever tell you I was the first female server in the Anglican Church in n.b.?

    I love Sundays now. I love to putter, go for long walks and meditate on life. I often read philosophical or religious or spiritual texts on Sunday - so lovely. Today I was meditating on seeing the spirit in the other and not their ego. So hard, but I am getting there. We all judge so much and I am trying so hard to stop doing that!

    Then it is always a nice meal - today was a fresh tomato pasta, and some garlic tossed green and yellow beans. It was lovely!

    Love the idea of this post - so peaceful. Namaste!

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    1. Wendy I didn't know that, what else are you hiding from us?! How cool!
      You've got your Sundays organized properly. I agree the tendency to be judgemental is the bane of modern relationships. So many people have lost the idea of the spiritual that they don't know any other way to try to relate to people. It can be very damaging. And you know I have never once thought of you as judgemental, I think your work is done!

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  7. I love this post!
    Sometimes we need some time to stop, reflect, slow down and take things all in.
    Cook a nice meal. Wear our nice clothes.
    In fact we could do these things most days, but it is great to have a day devoted to these things.
    I agree with you about not sleeping in too late!

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    1. Hi cilosophy, thank you! Wearing nice clothes on a Sunday turns everything around for me. And yes if I sleep in too late I don't have time to ease into the day, it also sets my sleep off schedule for the coming week, making Monday that much more difficult!

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  8. You're right, Sunday's can seem a bit empty and I spent my Sunday as Amy did above doing mountains of laundry, cooking and organising for the week ahead. While this was good as I ticked a bunch of things off the list... it was slightly dull! I used to love going to church as a child... as an adult, not so much. Before children I would usually be out late on a Saturday night and need a sleep in on a Sunday. Now with little children, I like not having to rush everyone out the door for a 9.30 service and doing pj's and pancakes instead. I'm afraid to say that our church attending for the past 15 years has been mostly for Weddings and Christenings and Funerals (although, there is that joke that it makes you a proper Anglican if you only attend church for that reason - hatched, matched and despatched) Love your outfit and the lunch looks delicious xx

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    1. Heidi this is a new one for me: "hatched matched and dispatched"! That's so true!
      When our children were small we did have phases of church-going, I think Sunday School is a great invention. It was difficult though, and I was definitely not as organized with my outfits, it was all I could do to get The Rascals out the door.
      Your pj and pancake mornings sound like great family times, that's the spirit of a Sunday I think.

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  9. I would love to stop by your blog on Sundays for a "Sunday Best" kind of post. I just started attending an Anglo-Catholic church this year and have been loving the liturgy. I didn't make it to mass today (alas), but redeemed my Sunday a bit by chopping and roasting vegetables, washing All the Laundry, making muffins, and generally tidying up and preparing for the week ahead.

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    1. philosophotarian that sounds like a cozy day... I am surprised every week by how much I take away from service, it stays with me quite fully for the day. Yes please check in on future Sunday Best!

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  10. We are Episcopalians in our family and always attend church when we are in the city. One of my uncles gave us some advice as newlyweds. He said that going to church on Sunday will make the whole week seem shorter. I think he was right. Going to church gives a certain structure to the week.

    Many weeks, we are at our farm on Sundays. When we are there, we often attend the local Methodist Church in the small village adjacent to our farm. Most of the people who attend the service are our farm neighbors and there are usually only about 20 people in attendance. The small Methodist church is where my great grandparents and my grandparents attended church, so I feel a since of belonging there.

    As for wearing my Sunday best, I don't own a single skirt suit now! I tend to wear dresses instead. In the city, we dress up for church. In the country, I wear a dress to church, but the dresses I wear in the city would be considered overdressing.

    I look forward to your Sunday Best posts.

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    1. Hi Susan! Your church services both sound wonderful and perfect for each location. Your Uncle gave you some good advice, there's something to that! A dress is perfect to wear to church, I like skirt suits for now as the church is often quite chilly so it allows me to wear a cashmere sweater with the jacket layered over and then another coat for the walk over... so much of dressing for me is the battle against the cold!

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  11. Dani, You inspire! Great way to savor the day and appreciate. I love that you get out to church. As a lapsed Catholic, I miss the good thoughts mass always brought to mind. Wonderful that you dress up and then make a lovely lunch!
    I just love how you make an ordinary day into something special.

    xKim

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    1. Hi Kim, if I lived where you live I might do something outdoors on that day, when I was a kid my Dad often skipped church, we went without him, he used to say that God wanted him on the golf course!
      Thanks Kim.

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  12. Thank you very much for this inspiring post once more. I also think that, most of the time, it is upon us to decide whether a day can be good or not. I will keep your lines in mind for my next weekends, especially Sundays, as I tend to not wear by best clothes on those days... I tend to dress with the least beautiful ones, which probably does not set me in the "best" mood. I look forward those posts and I wish you a lovely week.

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    1. Hi Steph I hope you also have a lovely week... in the past I have schlepped around on Sundays and not made an effort to make them special, this put me in a miserable mood which is no way to enjoy the day. It's the old saying isn't it: Life is what we make it...!

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  13. So lovely and old fashioned in the best possible way, mum has always been a suits and Ferragamo woman, but her feet are shrinking and now we can barely find shoes for her. I find church so boring, wild horses couldn't drag me, it's too rigid but then I do love the Latin mass at Brompton Oratory in London, bells, smells and Latin incantations plus it's filled with gorgeous Euros.

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    1. You put that so well, Tabitha! Exactly what I love about the Brompton Oratory...have been going there with various relatives whenever I'm in London on a Sunday, since I was a girl. Shall be going again in a couple of weeks...I like it most on a hazy autumn day.

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  14. I think that 'Sunday Best' is a great post idea, for atheists like me, there is very little spiritual reflection to be found, that's why I love philosophy.

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    1. Tabs your Latin mass sounds excellent! That's it then, your Mum is my sartorial inspiration for Sunday Best.
      One thing I learned from studying philosophy is the appreciation of the spiritual, so many philosophical thoughts are leaps of faith themselves!

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  15. Loved this, Dani.

    I have a long and checkered religious history;growing up Swedish Baptist ( a heretical sect at one time!), rejecting that theology while attending Episcopalian services, bringing up kids in the Unitarian church where I played piano once a month, now sometimes attending the local Methodist church we can walk to and in Florida, the Episcopalian service with a woman vicar. Yesterday I went to a sangha, inspired by seeing Thict Nhat Hanh in Boston ( at a medical meeting). I always where a skirt or dress to mark the time from the rest of the day.

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    1. Lane you have lots of different experiences to draw on there! I love this idea "to mark the time from the rest of the day", so true, thanks Lane!

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  16. What a lovely post!
    Sunday is my one slow day. I rise a bit later, linger over breakfast with the NYT, and walk to the 11:30 service at my Episcopal Church. I'm a Virginian, and grew up in Richmond. My childhood Sundays featured more elaborate breakfasts, donning my best for church, and then returning to a wonderful lunch. Afterward it was the paper for some, but everybody gathered for long walks, etc.

    Every other day of the week can be so hectic with all the dashing around. It makes a tremendous difference to have one day filled with peaceful calm.

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    1. Janet I agree! Your childhood Sundays sound idyllic and your current Sunday so peaceful. An 11:30 service is a nice thing, what a perfect gradual start to the day!

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  17. I am quite familiar with that sense of dread. I knew something in my life had to change when I started getting the Sunday Blues on Saturday evening. Love your church outfit!

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  18. I hated Sundays as a child. Dressed up in our "best" clothes for the day, we couldn't play outside, and then we would have to hang around all afternoon while Mom made the Sunday dinner. Once eaten, about 5 minutes flat, we had to listen to her complain about how long it had taken, and how quickly it disappeared. Funny how things change. I love Sundays now, especially when I get to cook a Sunday Roast with all the trimmings.

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