What's with the weird "stair shape"? Well, St. Joseph Altars are generally in 3 'steps'. This symbolizes the trinity and also the holy family. I made mine by stacking boxes and covering it with a white rag:
What goes on top? St. Joseph of course! We only have such nice St. Joseph statues and pictures because he's my husband's confirmation saint, so they were presents. You can use any picture of St. Joseph- even a holy card. And don't tell me you don't have a St. Joseph statue because I KNOW you have a nativity set! Lol! It's also ok to put the entire holy family up there. If your nativity set is all packed away, check out my printable nativity and have your kids color the holy family today :-)
Ok, what else do I put on the altar? Traditionally you put bread, fancy pastries, fish, lilies, roses, candles, wine, all kinds of fruit, fava beans, and symbols of St. Joseph (like sawdust) on your altar. To learn more, check out this post at Catholic Cuisine.
How did this start? Once there was a famine in Sicily, and the people prayed to St. Joseph for relief. Their prayers were answered, and they made an altar and brought their bountiful food to offer. Then they distributed the food to the less fortunate. So it's also traditional to donate the food from your altar :-) You can read more about this history here.
What are 'fava beans'? They were food for cattle, but everyone was considered lucky to have them to eat during times of famine. Check out the "Fava" bean craft we made!
Like our "fancy pastries"? They're made from fig newtons. See the post on how to make them yourself here!
Here are some more of my posts you might be interested in today:
PS. Couldn't help myself but to draw attention to this. Can you believe I had a bottle of wine with Mary and Jesus on it to put on our altar? Lucky! :-)
Don't forget to check out everyone's altars at
the St. Joseph Altar Blog Fest 2010! :-)
And you can link yours through the end of the month!
If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.