The Ninth Day Of Christmas – 2 Prayers from 4th Century Saints, 9 Ladies Dancing, and 1 Leg of Lamb

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“On the 9th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 9 ladies dancing.” – Frederic Austin

Dancing, an outward expression of the joy within, not only serves as a perfect implementation of your new year’s workout program but as a means of celebrating our existence.

Music might be my favorite outlet for expressing gratitude, hope, sorrow, or whatever I am feeling at the moment. I am not the most excellent dancer, but I sure do love to sing, and joyful movement does not require skills, just joy.

Two famous theologians, St. Basil The Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen, convey their delight in God through prayers that lead them to music and singing.

Enjoy their prayers below.

Have some friends over for a dance party and celebrate the 9th day of Christmas by feasting on this leg of lamb with Sicilian-style white beans and toasty bread as you celebrate.

Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

Prayer Of Praise – St Gregory of Nazianzus

O God,

You alone are unutterable,

from the time you created all things

that can be spoken of.

You alone are unknowable,

from the time you created all things

that can be known.

All things cry out about you,

those which speak,

and those which cannot speak.

All things honour you;

those which think,

and those which cannot think.

For there is one longing, one groaning,

that all things have for you.

All things pray to you that perceive your plan

and offer you a silent hymn.

In you, the One,

all things abide,

and all things endlessly run to you

who are the end of all.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


Saint Gregory of Nazianzus (330-389AD).

Prayer of Saint Basil the Great to the Most Holy Trinity:

As I rise from sleep, I thank Thee, O Holy Trinity, for through Thy great goodness and patience Thou wast not angry with me, an idler and sinner, nor hast Thou destroyed me with mine iniquities, but hast shown Thy usual love for mankind; andwhen I was prostrate in despair, Thou hast raised me up to keep the morning watch and glorify Thy power. And now enlighten my mind’s eye, and open my mouth that I may meditate on Thy words, and understand Thy commandments, and do Thy will, and hymn Thee in heartfelt confession, and sing praises to Thine all-holy name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Saint Basil the Great (330 AD – January 1, 379 AD)

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Ingredients For The Lamb:

Instructions For Lamb:

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove any rope or netting around the lamb and score the lamb’s fat.
  • In a food processor or blender, blend tomato paste, fillets, and all of the seasoning until combined into a slightly chunky paste.
  • Rub the paste all over the lamb.
  • Place lamb fat side up on a pan with a rack (so the skin underneath does not get soggy while cooking.)
  • Cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until a meat thermometer registers 130 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted into the fattest part of the lamb.
  • Tip: If the lamb’s skin starts to burn, cover it with tin foil to avoid too much charring.

Ingredients For The Beans:

Instructions For The Beans:

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil.
  • Dice Onion and add to heated oil. Sauté for about 3 minutes or until the onions begin to caramelize.
  • Crush cloves in a garlic press or chop very finely and add them to your pan. Sauté for one more minute.
  • Add your seasonings and white beans. Sauté for one minute.
  • Add crushed tomatoes with garlic and basil.
  • Allow to cook down for about 5 minutes.
  • Pour bean mixture into a baking pan; crush crackers and grate parmesan cheese on top.
  • Cook alongside the lamb for the last 30 minutes of the cooking process.
  • You can broil the beans at the end if you like a more toasty flavor and add fresh basil if you desire.
Photo by: Brodie Porterfield

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