Here in the summer months, we find ourselves between lent and advent, with the official Easter season having come to a close a few months ago. Though this time of the liturgical year may seem anticlimactic, it is during this time that we read about Jesus’ ministry while He walked the earth. We get a glimpse into both the divine and human natures of our Lord.
There are many things that can be done within the dometic church ( home) during these “off-season” months to keep the excitement of our faith alive. I will try to share some ideas for bringing the faith alive for children in a few upcoming posts.
Recall that the holy family is part of our family – our family that lives in heaven. We should celebrate the major events in their lives, just as we celebrate milestones within our earthly families. This helps our children to become closer to their heavenly family, and to realize that they are truly never alone.
There are a few Marian feasts coming up very soon. What a great time to celebrate the role of the Blessed Mother in our lives!
August 15 is the feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven
August 22 is the Memorial of Queenship of Mary
September 8th is the day we celebrate Mary’s birth. (As I said in a recent post, I read that her birthday is actually August 5th. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind being thought of in a special way on either day.)
September 15 is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
Why not try saying a family rosary on these special days? If your child is old enough to read, allow him/her to announce the mysteries. I find that kids in the “tween” years are more open to praying a family rosary when they get to take the lead. If you have younger children who are active and vocal, don’t expect perfection. If you only get through a decade, that’s o.k. You’ve exposed them to something new – something good – and you brought a smile to Jesus and Mary’s faces! I’m sure that they love the innocent prayers of little ones!
Remember when we were kids, and we used to tie clover flowers together to make necklaces and bracelets? How about showing your little girl how to do that? While you make necklaces and bracelets for yourself and for your daughter, make a little crown for Mary and let the child place it on her head. Offer a prayer together.
On Mary’s birthday, you and your child could make cupcakes for the Blessed Mother – white cake for her purity and light blue frosting for her veil. Younger children could add sprinkles. Then, after dinner, the family could sing Happy Birthday to Mary and enjoy dessert in her honor.
Family prayer can really calm back to school nerves for children and for parents. During this naturally stressful time of transition, prayer and celebration can smooth the way through a “rough patch.” Mother Mary and Jesus are always there for us, just waiting to be called upon – ever ready to assist our families. We only have to open our hearts and homes to them!