Early Church history and tradition teaches that each day of the week has a theme which can help us to celebrate ordinary time. This day of rest is seen by the Church as an echo of Easter. A day to celebrate Christ’s resurrection and to renew our own baptismal vows for the coming week, Sunday is a feast day. We should celebrate with festive meals in honor of Christ and His resurrection. It should be day the family spends together, enriching the body, mind, and soul of each family member.
Designate certain music to listen to or sing that praises God.
Designate special toys to play with only on Sunday.
Brainstorm activities that are family favorites: biking, cooking, movies, games, etc. Choose one each week.
Cook a special dessert or recipe — set aside budget restrictions or nutrition for that day — FEAST!
Have a family meeting. Schedule one day a month to meet as a family to discuss issues and share thoughts on your relationships as family. This is a good way to get children to talk about difficulties at an early age. Airing differences can be done in a controlled environment with adult guidance. Make sure that good things are discussed at family meetings also, such as vacations, major purchases, great achievements, etc.
Family Activity Box
The Lord’s day should be celebrated as a family. Make a family activity box, using small pieces of paper in Easter shapes, an empty can or jar, and leftover Easter decorations.
Each member contributes a few reasonable activities for the family. They are written on separate pieces of paper cut in Easter shapes (a lamb, a lily or an egg [as a reminder of the resurrection]) with the word “alleluia” written across the top. These symbols can also be used to decorate the box. (Old Easter cards and decorations would work, also.) Each family member takes turns choosing an activity out of the box (eyes closed, of course!). Enjoyour day celebrating with the family!
Read and Discuss
Read Exodus 20:8-11 and Catechism sections 1166-1167. Discuss how your family can rest on Sunday. What activities should you avoid? What activities might you add to your day of rest? To allow Mom to rest, the family might go out to eat, have meals of pre-made casseroles, or construct sandwiches buffet-style. Spend the afternoon sitting on the porch or in lawn chairs and chat about life and/or listen to classical music. Remember your family reading time (explained on the first Sunday in Lent).
Grow Sprouts in an Eggshell
1 empty eggshell (carefully break ¼ off the top)
1 egg c. (or small napkin ring)
1 damp cotton-ball
1/8 tsp. alfalfa seeds
set of colored fine-tipped felt markers
Eggs are signs of new life that help remind us of the resurrection of our Lord and our share in his new life (CCC 654). While doing this activity, discuss the various ways we experience new life through the sacraments (CCC 1130).
Set the empty eggshell in the egg cup or napkin ring and gently draw a face. Children can do self-portraits or draw the face of a saint or angel. Place a damp cotton-ball inside the eggshell and sprinkle seeds over cotton. Keep the cotton damp and in two or three days, seeds will begin to sprout. Put in a sunny spot and watch it grow. It may eventually need a haircut and the clippings can be added to a salad or sandwich.
Today we celebrate the day the Son of God rose from the dead to conquer sin. What better way to celebrate than with song! You’ll need books and/or tapes with familiar religious music; a few musically inclined friends and family, with their instruments; joy.
Using all three ingredients in any combination that works, sing old favorites and learn at least one new favorite. What a way to celebrate the Son of God!
Go to Mass as a family, then spend the day in restful celebration of this feast. Watch home movies and look at old pictures, and reintroduce the children to relatives who have gone before them.
Remember your family reading time.
1½ c. (3 sticks) Psalm 55:21
1 tsp., ½ tsp. 2 Chronicles 9:9 (cinnamon, nutmeg)
2 c. Jeremiah 6:20
2 c. 1 Samuel 30:12
6 Jeremiah 17:11
2 c. Numbers 13:23, chopped
½ c. Judges 4:19
1 c. Numbers 17:8, chopped or grated
2 tbs. 1 Samuel 14:25
4½ c. Leviticus 2:13
2 tbs. Amos 4:5
Today, make Scripture Cake. Have the children look up the Scripture verses. This famous old New England favorite is not only yummy but helps us learn the Bible.
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour loaf pans or a bundt or tube pan. Cream the butter. Beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Stir in milk and honey. Sift in flour with the salt, baking powder, and dry spices. Add the dry ingredients gradually to the wet mix only until blended. Stir in the raisins, figs, and almonds. Put into pans. Bake about 50 minutes. Yields: one large or several small cakes.
Remember family reading and the saint for the day.