Holy Week and Our Easter Traditions

Easter is always an exciting time of the year. Since it is later than usual, we are expecting warmer weather, plenty of sunshine, beautiful flowers and lots of Easter dresses and suits on the little ones! We also are looking forward to our traditions whether new or old. Here are some of our favorite Easter traditions from Parish Giving.

Berkeley Sweet Shop

This has been a tradition in my family since before I was born. Every Palm Sunday we go to Seaside Heights just for our Easter candy from the Berkeley Sweet Shop. We enjoy a leisurely walk up and down the boardwalk, take in the ocean views and reminisce of years past. Just thinking about it makes me excited for this Palm Sunday!

Warner’s Candy

Heather goes to this candy shop every Palm Sunday (I’m starting to see a pattern here). It is a small, family owned shop that makes delicious chocolates. It’s located in Bensalem, so if you are in the area then be sure to check them out! You may even see Heather there buying her Easter candy!

Spors Garden Center

This is a great place to pick up Easter flowers. Heather goes here to pick up flowers for her mom every year. She even picks some up for herself! Since they all have bulbs, she plants them in a flower bed so she can enjoy them all Spring! They have hyacinths, daffodils and so much more to choose from!

Heather isn’t the only one who picks up Easter flowers for her mom! Alexander also picks up flowers for his mother. It’s such a nice gesture to pick something up that smells nice and adds a pop of color to your yard!

Dandelion soup and Pineapple Stuffing

I wasn’t familiar with either one of these dishes until I met Jill. These are both apart of her family Easter tradition. Having pineapple stuffing with your ham is a staple in many families at Parish Giving and John Patrick. Together they are the perfect sweet and savory dishes for dinner.

Dandelion soup is also another tradition in Jill’s family. They have been serving it as a course at Easter dinner for as long as she can remember. It is a simple dish that doesn’t require a lot of fuss. Plus it takes care of all the dandelions growing in your lawn!

Egg Hunt

This is a tradition we all share. It doesn’t matter your age; you still enjoy a good, old-fashioned Easter egg hunt. It doesn’t matter if there is chocolate or money in the eggs, all that matters is that you are having fun finding them!

Now that you’ve read about our Easter traditions we have to ask – what are your Easter traditions?

Spring into Savings!

Happy First Day of Spring! Our geese friends Jay and P. are outside honking, we’re taking our allergy medicine each morning because the trees are starting to blossom, and the grey winter sky is starting to turn into a happy blue! Finally, spring is here! That means it is time to spring into savings with Parish Giving! Large Parish, small parish, it doesn’t matter!  You can pick and choose online solutions that work for you.  Continue reading to find out how!

Our Online Forms

Our online forms save your time and energy! How often have you looked through stacks and stacks of paper, or spreadsheet after spreadsheet looking for someone’s payment or demographic information? Although it has worked for a while, why not try our online forms? If you do not like them, then you can go back to your older version. I can almost guarantee that you won’t though!

Religious Education Registration and Payment Solutions

Our Religious Education online registration and payment solutions will allow you to spend more time on your mission of education!  There are two options to pick from:  an online form or a module.  The form is easy!  You decide what registration information you want on the form and we create it.  Your families click on the form link to register and pay.  The module is simplified!  You provide your student information and we upload it into the module where you can assign tuition and classes.  Your families will receive an email to register and pay.

School Tuition Registration and Payment

If you are like me, you have most of your monthly bills automatically taken from your account. I have it set up on my calendar how much comes out on which day so I can account for it beforehand. With certain bills, I like to be able to pay them when I have money. This includes school tuition.

As we all know paying for a parochial school education is a sacrifice a family makes for their children. Sometimes we miscalculate and are off by a couple of dollars from our monthly payment. That usually means a hefty fine if you are late by a day or two waiting for your paycheck. Parish Giving simply does not believe in those extra fees for families. If you need that extra day or two to pay your tuition, we will not charge you an additional fee. It just makes sense.

Another service we provide is not charging for insufficient funds. This is unique to Parish Giving! We know that sometimes you can be off by a dollar or twenty when managing your checkbook, so we do not see the point in punishing you for human error. Instead we charge a flat fee for each family (not per person!) and reach out to families if a payment does not go through. We stay on top of it for both the school and family!

Our Weekly E-Giving

Sometimes we forget our church envelope at home. It happens. That means you have to then mail in your envelope to the church. A stamp now costs $0.55! Why not try Parish Giving’s electronic giving instead? Save the cost of a stamp, and save yourself some time by setting it up to be automatically debited each week.

As you can see Parish Giving is all about Spring and Savings! Give Parish Giving a try and see how much time and money you can save!

Saint Patrick’s Day

The day is approaching in which everyone is Irish! To some Saint Patrick’s Day is about parties and enjoying life to the fullest. To others it is a day to celebrate Saint Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland and numerous other countries. This week’s blog is dedicated to Saint Patrick and how he is perceived in different places around the world.

Ireland

Of course we have to start with the country Saint Patrick is most associated with. When I was in undergrad I went with my school on a trip to Ireland, England, Wales and France. Our tour director had us take an unplanned trip to Rock of Cashel while there.

Rock of Cashel is by a cave where Saint Patrick banned Satan from entering. In the 12th Century a Cathedral was built there. As you can see from my picture, we visited when they were preserving the structure. We were still able to see the importance of this cathedral to the Irish.

Rock of Cashel in 2012

Northern Ireland

This is the burial place of Saint Patrick. He is buried at Down Cathedral which is located in the town of Downpatrick. He was most likely buried there because he is regarded as the first bishop of the Diocese of Armagh.

Down Cathedral is also part of the Church of Ireland. To be seen as a Saint of both the Catholic Church and Church of Ireland is a pretty special honor.

United States

Everyone may not be Irish here, but people love to celebrate one of our favorite Saint’s. Cities have grand parades and turn everything from rivers to their drinks green. We also enjoy a good Shamrock Shake!

I’ve experienced New York City’s parade accidentally once – and yes that can happen. It runs up 5th Avenue, and if you are there the wrong Saturday you too can be stuck in it. If Saint Patrick’s Day is on a Sunday like this year, the parade will be on Saturday the 16th. They even have mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral that morning, but you have to purchase a ticket first!

Chicago is known to dye the Chicago River green in celebration! This draws on average 400,000 spectators each year. Then again, their annual parade helps draw in the tourists as well!

Many small towns across the globe have different festivities this weekend. Since Saint Patrick’s day is a Sunday this year, that means there will be less traffic going to work Monday morning (hopefully!). Just keep in mind that Saint Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland. You can donate an offering to your parish in honor of Saint Patrick, and you can do so by using Parish Giving! Give us a call or email if you have any questions!      

Fun Facts about Daylight Saving Time

It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year! Daylight Saving Time! This means winter is ending, and spring is about to begin. The days are longer, we have more sunshine and the winter cobwebs are being swept away. Parish Giving thought since we’re all dusting our cobwebs away that we’d share some fun facts about Daylight Saving! Here are just a few!

Fun Fact #1

We can all thank Ben Franklin – Yes, it’s true. When he was living in France, he noticed how the sun was up at 6am. He thought to himself that if you are up with the sun, and go to bed earlier at night, that you would be saving more energy and save money on candles. I suppose this is another spin on Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

Fun Fact #2

Your state is not required to follow Daylight Saving Time – Arizona and Hawaii are two states that do not follow it.

Fun Fact #3

Arizona doesn’t follow Daylight Saving due to extreme heat. They want to preserve the cooler evening hours so people can enjoy time outdoors.

Fun Fact #4

But the Hopi Reservation which is surrounding by the Navajo Nation observes Daylight Saving Time. Always a loophole!

Fun Fact #5

The English first thought of Daylight Saving Time, but the German’s were the ones who implemented it.

Do you have any fun facts about Daylight Saving Time? Feel free to share them with us!

Mardi Gras: The Food before Fasting

It’s the Tuesday before Lent which means it is Mardi Gras! Mardi Gras translates to Fat Tuesday. It’s the day we use up all of the fatty, sugary foods prior to the first day of Lent. For the next 40 days, we try our best to stay away from rich foods and to fast whenever possible. Different regions of the world have different ways to use up all of their fattening foods. Parish Giving wanted to share some of theirs!

Fastnacht

This is Jill’s way to celebrate Fat Tuesday! It’s a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition which is a German word that means “Fasting Night”. What you are supposed to do is eat as much rich and delicious foods as you possibly can before the Lenten fast. Today we have Fastnacht donuts in which we enjoy. There are three different kinds:

    -Fastnachts made with baking powder

    -Fastnachts with yeast

    -Fastnachts with potato and yeast

No matter how you make these delicious donuts, they all contain butter or lard, flour, powder sugar and are deep fried. Some contain jelly or cream in the middle. Either way, they are delicious and melt in your mouth! You can see why Jill enjoys this tradition every year!

King Cakes

The traditional King Cake is usually eaten during Epiphany, but now is also seen during Mardi Gras! For Fat Tuesday, the cake is typically made of brioche colored with traditional Mardi Gras colors such as green, yellow and purple. The colors are seen in the cake and in the icing.

What makes King Cakes special is the figurine that is baked inside of it. The porcelain figurine represents Jesus, and the person who has him in their slice is responsible for next year’s cake! The lucky few who have the Jesus figurine can also be seen as the King or Queen of the party! I think I like that tradition better!

Shrove Tuesday

This is how I celebrate Fat Tuesday! For dinner, my family always celebrates with a big stack of pancakes, butter and plenty of maple syrup! We usually have bacon or sausage with it too!

Shrove Tuesday is derived from Shrovetide, which is a biblical term for the last day of the liturgical season. The eating of pancakes on this day has dated back to the 16th Century for British Christians. Many churches still ring the Shriving Bell (Church bells) to sound when people should begin frying their pancakes.

We’d love to hear how you and your family celebrate Mardi Gras each year! Fat Tuesday has so many different traditions all around the world!