Welcome to The Daily Feast where we connect Saints, Soups, and Sustainable Living! Each day of the year is the “anniversary” of millions of ordinary and extra-ordinary events or encounters in which our ancestors experienced the Presence of Mystery, the Power of Love, the Beauty and Wonder of Life. The sacred calendars of every religious and spiritual tradition invite us to remember, rehearse and realize each day, the depth and richness present in the NOW.
The Daily Feast has three parts:
Praying the Feast—where Sunrise and Sunset are celebrated with Morning and Evening Prayer [a hymn, psalm, reading, canticle and brief prayer] that honor the memory and integrate the wisdom of those whose lives and deaths marked each day of the year. We hope to provide at least an audio recording for each day. When possible, the texts will also be available for those who wish to read silently or sing along with the cantor.
Living the Feast—where Soups (and other recipes) associated with the feast or season, and Sustainable-living practices appropriate to the day, season, weather, or point in the agricultural cycle (in Madison, Wisconsin) are shared with our readers. You can’t celebrate a feast without “feasting” – giving thanks and sharing the gifts of the day. (This section is still under construction).
Making the Connections—is a series of essays, poems, “sermons,” presentations, suggested readings or links, to help experience the interconnections of the people or events remembered on this “feast” and our efforts to live more sustainably, reduce our carbon footprints, walk more gently on Mother Earth and live more simply so that other people and species may simply live. (This section is still under construction).
Translations, Texts, Melodies
In honor of the all-inclusive love of God, gender-neutral and gender-inclusive language is used as often as possible.
Acknowledging the many names for the Holy Trinity, we give first place to the name, “Abba” which Jesus used to address the Holy One; “Word” is used interchangeably with “Son” and “Holy Breath” reminds us of the Hebrew “Ruach” or Greek “Pneuma” as well as the Latin “Spiritus”.
Celebrating our cherished relationship with our Jewish sisters and brothers with whom we have inherited the Hebrew Scriptures, we sing “Adonai” as they do wherever the Hebrew text has the unpronounceable “YHWH” (This is where some English translations capitalize “LORD”). We will often follow the Hebrew text as well in using “Adonai Elohim” (LORD God), “Adonai Eloheinu” (LORD our God) and “Adonai Sabbaoth” (LORD of Hosts).
The sources of texts for hymns and prayers that are not the work of The Daily Feast are indicated or are from the Common Domain.
The plainsong melodies are adapted from the Gregorian Chant tradition as found in the Liber Usualis or in the Antiphonale Monasticum. The psalm tones were composed by Columba Kelly, OSB of St. Meinrad Archabbey with whom I studied from 1974 to 1979. Many of the antiphons and responsories are reconstructed from memory using the techniques that he taught for composing/adapting Latin chants for English texts.
We pray this will nourish your hearts and souls, and strengthen your resolve to join the struggle for the healing of society, culture, and this beautiful planet we call “Earth.”
John Kenneth Leonard, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus Religious Studies at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin, where, from 1994 to 2022, he taught courses in Spirituality, Eco-Spirituality, Christian Liturgy, Liberation Theologies, and Catholic Social Teaching. Although The Daily Feast was technically his “Sabbatical Project” for the Spring Semester of 2014, it was launched at Sunset on November 30, 2013 on time for the celebration of Evening Prayer I of the First Sunday of Advent with which the the Liturgical Year begins.
This website was designed by Fr. Scott Steinkerchner, OP, who was Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Edgewood College(2013-2015) and continues to serve as web-designer or web-master for many Dominican communities throughout the world.