We joyfully welcome regular contributor Gina Fensterer of Someday Saints back to TAN Homeschool
Years ago, when I was mom to only 2 girls and pregnant with our 3rd baby, I baked a sweet lamb cake and had a festive little celebration for Holy Thursday. Another year I made a strawberry cake, frosted white, and decorate with twelve half strawberries like tongues of fire on the Apostles for Pentecost. Then there was the year that we really did it up fun and festive for Michaelmas (I think?), with beeswax candles that we hand-rolled. One Advent I made a garland that hung in front of the mantle, with different activities to do for each day leading up to Christmas.
And now? I’m happy to remember that there is a feast day coming so I can at least mention it in our daily prayer time.
These last few (several) years, I’ve been busy growing our domestic church (Literally. We now have 6 children.) and figuring out how to manage the daily basics in addition to homeschooling and other activities. In the process, I’ve lost time and motivation to do the festive desserts and decorations for the liturgical year.
Part of me yearns to do those celebrations again, one day. Another part of me recognizes that this season isn’t that time, but we can still live liturgically. For those of you, like me, who can’t or don’t want to do all the desserts and decorations, and for those of you who want to start living liturgically but don’t know where to start, here are some simple ideas.
Begin living liturgically.
Start with a season like Advent or Lent, because they are weeks-long and lead up to great feasts in our Church year. They are also times when it is easy to find prayer books and religious items focused on the season. Some churches may even have free prayer books during these seasons. Take advantage of this! My favorite way to live and celebrate Advent with our family is simply with an Advent wreath and nightly prayers.
Participate in your parish’s liturgical year activities, and take advantage of their resources! Our parish has a rich library with books and movies. Various ministries often plan and host events for different feasts and seasons, like making Advent wreaths together in the parish hall, or having a communal “altar de muertos” for Dia De Los Muertos.
Choose a holy day, like All Saints Day, and do something special with your family. Daily Mass, maybe a small craft if you feel up for it (or free coloring pages), and a story at home.
Learn about a beloved, popular saint, or a family favorite or child’s namesake, and celebrate that saint’s feast day. I have always loved teaching my children about St. Nicholas, and celebrating the real Santa. Like All Saints Day, just do something simple, like read about the saint online or from a saint book. If you are inclined, look up and cook a recipe from the country where the saint lived.
You can always add more to your family’s practices as the years go on, or just for days that are particularly special to your family. There is no need to throw a big bash for every possible feast! Choose what helps draw you closer to Christ and the Church, and make it special and meaningful.
Have other ideas? Please share with us!
About Gina Fensterer