Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Liturgical Living at Home : Getting Started {and a Giveaway!}

Very, very soon the New Year is going to begin! No, I'm not talking about the calendar year that starts on January 1st with a giant crystal ball dropping in NYC, champagne toasts, and loads of confetti. I'm referring to the Church's Liturgical Year.

The Church year, recognized in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Orthodox faith (though their calendar differs slightly) as well as in some Protestant faith backgrounds, is made up by a number of Seasons. These seasons helps us to grow in our Faith, walking through the year with times of celebration, fasting, waiting, and so forth. Advent is the first Season followed by Christmas, then Ordinary Time, Lent, Easter, and another season of Ordinary Time before coming to a new year.

I grew up attending churches that often celebrated the Church year. We moved often, so sometimes we ended up at a church that didn't, but even so, our family always observed Advent and Lent. We didn't go overboard, but I was always aware those periods of time before an important church feast were in existence.

The Season of Advent starts us off as we prepare for the Nativity of our King. It begins this year on December 1st, and we will be observing the Church year not only in our Church and on Sunday mornings but also in our everyday life at home.

Nearly two years ago, I stumbled across the blog: Carrots for Michaelmas. I was so inspired by the way Haley + her family made the Liturgical year a part of their home life. It was right before the Season of Lent that I found the site. We began to make small changes in our home, making way for the Seasons of the Church to become the Seasons of our Home, our Domestic Church, as well.

It has been a beautiful thing adding traditions and things to look forward to each month in our home that directly relate to our Faith. Our boys not only look forward to Christmas stockings and Easter baskets, but they also cannot wait to put their shoes outside their doors on St. Nicholas Day or dress up as their favorite Saint for All Saints Day.

I fully understand that it can be completely overwhelming when you find a blog that is already firmly rooted in living our the Church year, and it seems like they do *everything.* Or you search Pinterest, and two katrillion amazing ideas show up. Like with any major change you make in your life, I highly recommend 1.) Start Slow and 2.) Go at the pace that is right for you and your family.

For us, this means all out celebrating major holidays (Christmas, Easter, All Saints, and the like), and then we pick a few other feast days each month to celebrate. Sometimes our celebrations can be a little time consuming, and other times, it's as simple as finding a story about a saint in one of our many favorite books we've started to collect and reading it.

Here are some simple ideas for you to get Started Living Liturgically Within Your Home: 

Buy a calendar like this one to hang on your wall. The Year of Grace Liturgical Calendar 2014 [Laminated Poster] allows the whole family to visually engage in where you are in the Church calendar.

Pick a few Saints to celebrate throughout the year - I think we covered 5 or 6 the first year we started. A good starting point recommendation: your family's patron saints or if you have a special devotion to a particular saint, add them!

Our St. George's Day Feast
Celebrate a Saint or other Feast Day with a meal. This is where the giveaway will come in handy, so look below for your chance to win a copy of A Continual Feast: A Cookbook to Celebrate the Joys of Family and Faith Throughout the Christian Year! (The Giveaway is now over!)
Also, check out Catholic Cuisine - there are many recipes covering many saints!

Daniel + Haley Stewart (of Carrots for Michaelmas) just released their new E-cookbook, Feast!, and you can purchase it today! Click here to view more details
I am already loving my copy and will be sharing more about it soon - right now it's on sale for 40% OFF! Hurry and get your copy before this special offer ends on Thanksgiving Day.

Print a coloring page off for your child(ren) to decorate. Waltzing Matilda has by far the most extensive collection I have found so far. Her drawings are lovely yet still are simple enough to not be too complex for a preschooler.

Holy Week Activities
Try another activity or craft! Make pinecone birdfeeders for St. Francis' feast day. Make paper roses for Our Lady of Guadalupe. Go through your belongings and give away clothes on St. Martin's day and toys on St. Nicholas' day.
Catholic Icing has so many wonderful ideas to get you started (and you might not ever need to leave her site).

Learn a prayer. Many of the saints have a prayer associated with them if not several - you can have little ones repeat after you or make it a part of bedtime prayers for the week of the saint's feast day. Older kids, especially if you homeschool, could use the prayer as a handwriting exercise.

Treasury of Saints and Martyrs by Brenda Mulvilhill

And last, but not least, read a story about the saint! There is so much to be learned from each of these faithful men + women. We have begun a collection of saint story books, but if you don't own any, just Google the saint. There are many stories on different reading/listening levels to be found.

Remember, none of these are must dos. Only add what is blessing and enriching your life. If you're stressing about it too much, then perhaps that is not the activity that is a good fit for you. We are far from perfect, and oftentimes I find myself (especially when I plan a craft or activity) doing things a day or two late. It is going to be extra work, but only take on what you can handle!

Annnnnnd, now for the Giveaway: 

The book, A Continual Feast: A Cookbook to Celebrate the Joys of Family and Faith Throughout the Christian Year, by Evelyn Birge Viz was one of the first books I added to our Liturgical Living book collection. It is a wonderful collection of over 275 recipes covering not only feast days, but daily life, birthdays, baptisms and other days of celebration as well. Each recipe has a small introduction with historical context, traditions from around the world, and other advice to begin incorporating the Church's Seasons into the days of your life. It's one of my favorites still to reference as we continue to delve more into Liturgical Living in our home.

To Enter to win a copy of the book: A Continual Feast: A Cookbook to Celebrate the Joys of Family and Faith Throughout the Christian Year :: Giveaway is now over ::

Using the Rafflecopter Widget below, earn entries by:

{1} Answer the Question: What is a tradition your family has for the Advent or Christmas season?
Please share in the comments section. {Mandatory - Leave comment in Comment form and put name in Widget} (3 entries)

{2} Like Two Os + More on Facebook. (2 entries)

{3} Follow @TwoOsPlusMore on Twitter (2 entries)

{4} Tweet about the giveaway (1 entry - can be done daily)

{5} Share via Facebook (1 entry - can be done daily)

{6} Pin on Pinterest (2 entries)

{7} Subscribe to Two Os Plus More via E-mail (2 entries)

There are 13 possible entries, with a few options to come back daily and earn extra entries. I will use Rafflecopter's generator to choose the winner, who will then be announced here on the blog + via social media. I will also e-mail them - e-mail address you provide will only be used to contact you if you win. U.S. + Canada mailing addresses only. Entries will be accepted until 12:00am 27 November 2013. Giveaway is now over.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: All Giveaway products were provided by me and the reviews are my honest opinion. No 3rd party is involved in any way in this Giveaway. 

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This post "Integrity is When You Get New Bones" first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 17 November 2013


  1. Our traditions are pretty new, but since we got married, David and I fill each other's stockings (my parents always did that growing up!) and we also celebrate St. Lucia's and St. Nicholas' feast day!

  2. We've always had the Advent candles/wreath...and I'm thinking of starting to add some saint feast days--so I like your advice to "start SLOW!" ;)

  3. We've always done an Advent wreath, usually with some readings. Last year we celebrated St. Lucia which turned out very special because of my Swedish heritage. this year we're starting a "movable" Nativity (we'll see how that goes)
    ~Ruth Anne

  4. Growing up and now in our own house we have a couple of advent calendars that take us through the Christmas story.

  5. Our traditions are pretty new, but we always have an advent wreath with a reading before dinner.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Haha I was just commenting under my sister's name there...whoops...

    I love all of this Sarah! I'm going to keep this post, I was thinking of putting up a giant pre-advent post with my fave links next week.

    And I'm not entering because of this whole living in Canada thing...

    1. Quick - come back and enter! The Canada thing is from my last giveaway which was sponsored and they didn't want to ship outside of US. However, I live so nice and close to Canada that it isn't ridiculous for me to ship there. You can consider it an early Christmas present, and go ahead and enter!

      (Changing that stipulation now!)

      And yay for a Giance pre-Advent post! Looking forward to it. =)

  8. We have soup and bread suppers on Saturday evenings and invite fiends over to share our lighting of the Advent wreath and our readings. (Yay for giveaways!)

    1. I love that idea of inviting others to join in your observances once a week. Maybe we'll start integrating that, too! Such a wonderful idea. =)

  9. We celebrate the O Antiphons on the days just before Christmas. (You know them if you know the verses of O Come O Come Emmanuel.) I have a little house that we open a widow each day.
    We also put our shoes out on the night of Dec 5 for St. Nicholas to fill with chocolate coins, oranges and candy canes for the morning of the 6th :)

  10. Reading the Christmas story from the Bible and singing carols on Christmas Eve :)

  11. Wow..
    Great giveaway / contest.
    I hope I can have similar giveaway like this too.
    Hope everyone enjoy it. Good luck.



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