Here is How to Live More Liturgically
The Catholic Church has an incredible Liturgical Calendar that has been formed through thousands of years of tradition. The list of feast days, holidays, and seasons seems endless, but it meant to help us unite ourselves closer to our Mother Church, giving us the opportunity to fall deeply in love with Christ. Here are some ideas for you to live more liturgically.
Wear Liturgical Colors at Mass
On Gaudete Sunday this year, I saw a family of 6 walk into mass and every one of its members was wearing pink of some form. The dad had a pink tie, the mom had a pink blouse, a couple of the daughters had pink skirts, and the sons had pink shirts. Even the baby had a little pink bow in her hair.
The following week, on the fourth Sunday of Advent, I saw them again wearing purple. Then during Christmas, they were all wearing white. I suspect that they will wear green come Ordinary Time and red during Lent.
It was a fun tradition to see the family uniting themselves to the liturgical season and teaching their children its importance.
Establish fun Liturgical Season Traditions
Different Liturgical Seasons should stand out throughout the year. Our habits during Lent should be very different from our habits during Ordinary Time and Christmas. Find a way to make each season unique and special.
For Advent, Jenny Uebbing at the blog Mama Needs Coffee has a fun tradition with her kids for Advent that includes a box of straw and a wooden manger. During Advent, when they do something good, they add some straw to the manger. The more they are good, the softer Baby Jesus’ bed will be when he arrives on Christmas.
For Lent, vow to do something as a family, whether it be everyone gives up dessert or commits to praying the Rosary together every day.
Observe Saints Feast Days
You have memorized when the birthdays are for your mom, best friends, children, nieces and nephews, favorite celebrity, etc. Because of this, you can easily remember when the feast days for your favorite saints occur.
Pick a handful of saints that are important to you. They can be your confirmation saint, your namesake saint, the saint whose feast is on your birthday or other significant date, saints whom you often ask for intercession, saints whose stories intrigue you, or saints whose names you just like (I’m talking to you St. Thorlak Thorhallsson).
Generally, a saint’s feast day is celebrated on the day he/she died, but that’s not always the case. You can find the feast days with a simple google search or find them on this list.
Make a point to do something significantly different on those days. Go to mass, pray the rosary for that saint’s intercession, partake in an activity that relates to the saint.
You can celebrate the feast of Pope St. John Paul by going on a hike (something he enjoyed doing), the feast of St. Gianna by visiting the sick, the feast of St. Nicolas by hiding chocolates in your family’s shoes. Some saints have very special traditions attached to their feast days, such as Saint Blaise, where the throat is blessed with candles at mass.
Remember your Baptism and Confirmation Dates
We celebrate birthdays, married couples celebrate their wedding anniversaries, priests remember the day of their ordination. But what day is more important in an individual Christian’s life than the day they were baptized? That day is so significant and transformative for them, that it should be remembered every time it rolls around.
It’s not explicitly liturgical, but it’s a very important practice that can help you live out your faith through the calendar year.
To find this special date might require a phone call to your parents or time spent digging out the kid’s baptismal certificate, but it’s well worth the quest to remember the day when you entered into union with God.
Celebrate that day every year. You don’t have to have a big party, but go to mass that day and thank God that you are a Christian by your baptism, you are saved. Give yourself an extra scoop of ice cream for dessert. It’s worthy of celebrating.
While we are talking about these dates, remember your godchildren and those you sponsored during their confirmation. Reach out to them during those days and remind them why the day is special and that you are praying for them.
Include Feast Days in Your Meal Planning
The classic saying is the way to people’s hearts is through their stomachs. People love food and what it symbolizes. It’s why Americans have such a rich tradition around Thanksgiving feasts. There is something about food and celebration that strikes a cord in the human heart.
Be intentional during feast days about preparing food that may relate in some way to the feast. On the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, serve tacos; on Saint Patrick’s feast day, serve corned beef and potatoes; on Saint Paul Micki’s and companion’s feast day, gather the family and learn how to make homemade sushi.
It may seem a little trivial and silly, but it’s easy for families to do and can spark some great dinner conversations. Make it extra special by using the special dinner plates reserved only for special occasions.
Haley Steward at Carrots for Michaelmas has a great recipe book with meals corresponding to the liturgical year and feast days.
Read the Daily Readings
It’s tough to get to daily mass. The work days are full and busy, and it can be hard to find a mass nearby that will fit the schedule. But it’s important to be in tune with the Church. The readings correspond with the liturgical seasons and are great for helping you stay in touch with the Church. Daily Scripture reading is encouraged by every spiritual leader there is, and the daily mass readings are a great place to start. You can get them on the USCCB website or try the Laudate app or a Magnificat subscription.
No matter what stage you are in life, we can always do more to unite our daily lives with the life of the church. The seasons of life ebb and flow, and so do the seasons in the church. By being intentional about how we live our lives alongside the liturgical calendar, we can have a greater appreciation for our Mother Church and her quest to lead us to heaven.