Last week, Deacon Presberry wrote about how “Church isn’t out for summer”. It does have seasons – liturgical seasons. And just like we gear up for sprinklers and strawberries in the summer and snow shovels and hot cocoa in the winter, we can prepare for the Church seasons of fasting and feasting through intentional liturgical living.
Liturgical living means merging the liturgical seasons and celebrations with the rhythm our lives. It’s making what we eat, when we party, when we don’t, how we decorate, how we pray, and what we read connect to the life of the Church. It’s for the young and not so young, for families of all ages and shapes and sizes.
Consider trying and inviting others in your parish to try these:
- Invite your neighbors over for a Pentecost bonfire and smores.
- Celebrate the anniversary of your daughter’s Baptism by praying for her as a family, lighting her baptismal candle, and having her favorite meal for dinner. Ask her to invite her best friend over to join you.
- Eat blackberry pie on Michaelmas and saying the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel as a family. If you’re brave enough, allow the kids to have a (plastic) sword fight after dinner in the backyard.
- Chalk the doorway for the Epiphany. When folks ask, explain why.
- Invite friends over for the Feast of St. Joseph, preparing a simple St. Joseph’s table, and praying a decade of the rosary together before dinner.
- Schedule a date night with Adoration followed by a sushi dinner on the Feast of St. Andrew the Fisherman.
- Visit a cemetery and pray for the dead on All Souls Day. If a co-worker’s family member has recently died, pray for him or her and tell your co-worker you did.
- Read Scripture as you build a Jesse tree through Advent. When your family and friends visit, tell them about it.
These “shallow end” experiences offer a time to explain why we feast and why we fast. They provide an opportunity for parishioners to directly engage those in their personal mission territory: their co-workers, friends, neighbors, and family.
Some great sources for simple, user-friendly resources for liturgical living:
This Saturday, for the Solemnity of John the Baptist, we’ll have a family discussion about St. John, how excited he was about Jesus coming, what sacrifice looks like, and what a “garment of hair” really is. We’ll also be eating these “locusts and wild honey.” Here’s to praying that something will stick (other than just the peanut butter and honey on little fingers).
How can your parish support families and individuals in liturgical living?