As Catholics, we enjoy our own special calendar – the Catholic Liturgical Calendar – celebrating the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter as well as 33 to 34 weeks of Ordinary Time.
It’s a shame really, that it’s called ordinary, because it’s still filled with plenty of Feast Days and celebrations that are quite extraordinary! It’s also a great opportunity to establish Catholic family culture with fun crafts and activities that strengthen our love and knowledge of our Faith.
Ordinary Time need not be ordinary!
Throughout the year, the Mystery of Christ is revealed. Beginning after the Feast of Our Lord’s Baptism, Ordinary Time focuses on Christ’s Baptism and then delves into His Preaching Ministry. The Scriptural readings at Mass focus on Jesus’ Teaching through parables and His Miracles. Ordinary Time is intended to remind us that Jesus is with us throughout all of our daily trials and triumphs. We should be striving to reflect Jesus’ Teaching with our actions every day. I like to think of Ordinary Time as a time to focus on Faith and family…brushing up on Catechism, building our repertoire of prayers, delving into Scripture and forming habits that can carry us through all the Seasons!
1. Bringing the Catechism to Life
There has been an explosion of Catholic companies and materials dedicated to teach Catechism in fun and inspiring new ways. Our Tradition and Faith are so rich! The Pope and various theologians and Doctors of the Church have, with the help of the Holy Spirit addressed every question we may have and the more we delve into Church Teaching, the more we learn… and seek to know more.
2. Inspiring Prayer in Kids
Within our Catholic Tradition and Faith, we have so many beautiful prayers and devotions! At each Mass, we restate the facts of our Faith, relive the Eucharist and strengthen our relationship with Jesus. We are called to be a people of prayer, studying the beautiful words in Scripture, meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary and renewing the heartfelt prayers of the Saints. We are also invited to personal prayer. Jesus wants us to come to Him with our prayers from the heart, asking Him to walk with us and guide our steps. We need to nurture this prayer life at home, praying with our kids, letting them see us devote time to our spiritual life and encouraging them to turn to prayer on their own.
3. Get Enthused by the Saints!
In addition to regular routines and the ordinary flow of family life, each day of the year presents another Saint; a hero in our Catholic Faith to learn from and yet another excuse to celebrate! These mentors, already having lived their lives and enjoying the Beatific Vision are still available to intercede on our behalf. We can ask them to pray for us…just as we ask a friend, a family member or a priest. The lives of the Saints are inspiring!
With so many distractions and less-than-exemplar influences in our society today, how awesome can it be for our kids to be awed and inspired by the Saints?! The Saints are portrayed in so many kid-friendly ways through dolls and movies and crafts: why not introduce them to your kids? Delve into the lives of the Saints, the challenges they faced and the virtues that made them wonderful witnesses to Christ. Let the Saints be holy heroes; compelling role models to guide our kids on their journey of Faith.
We don’t need to rely on memorization tests or fill-in-the-blank worksheets to teach Catechism and prayer or to explore the lives of the Saints. We can pass on our enthusiasm by sneaking Catholic teaching and culture into fun activities that kids already enjoy doing: crafts, artwork, altered classic board games, scrapbooking, journaling and even computer games and movies.
We can add special recipes, celebration activities and family traditions in honor of Feast Days and Seasons…the Catholic Liturgical Calendar certainly gives us many opportunities! Keep an eye out for upcoming articles as we showcase crafts, activities and traditions to teach the Catholic Faith throughout the Liturgical Calendar!
Check out Equipping Catholic Families for our paper craft printables, prayer crafts, classic games turned Catholic and Saint focused crafts. Let’s make Ordinary Time an extraordinary opportunity to celebrate our Catholic Faith!