Sunday, September 9, 2012

Living the Liturgical Year On the Fly: Our Nativity of Mary Celebrating

Holy Kiss by Nancy Bradley
Sometimes, we plan ahead for Saint Day teas, spend time crafting things to decorate our Liturgical Table, enjoy play with Faith Story Baskets, plan a variety of learning and play activities around a Feast Day or otherwise invest time and energy towards involving our young children in living the Liturgical Year.  At other times, we just go with the flow of life and trust “liturgical year moments” to happen more organically.

Friday was a case in point.

I was a day ahead of life as far as the date goes.  I thought Friday was the 8th.  However, I was behind as far as everything else goes.  The house was disheveled, we were moving slowly with our Core Four lesson plans for the day and I had nothing in particular prepared for our Nativity of Mary feast day observances.  So, we just let the day unfold and welcomed moments when we could honor the feast day:

  • During out Morning Circle Time, I let the kids know it was Mary’s Birthday and we played a spontaneous round of Mary trivia.   We also, of course, prayed a Hail Mary.
  • Later in the day, I found Nina kneeling in prayer in front of our Liturgical Table, which the children had previously transformed from an Assumption theme into a  Queen of Heaven one.
  • We read a story about Mary in one of our Catholic Children's Treasure Box .
  • Nina made cards for Mary.
  • The kids modeled after Mary during the day making extra efforts to say “yes”, be kind and be loving.
  • We placed a blue table cloth on the table for dinner in honor of the traditional  color of Mary’s mantle.
  • Before eating, we prayed the Hail Mary and, then, said a special prayer for a friend named Mary who passed away last week and for the husband and son she left behind.  (Please join us in prayer for them!)

  • Over dinner, we played a quick Mary trivia Q&A game again, this time with Daddy, too.
  • Since it was too hot an humid in the house during the day to bake a cake, I asked Daddy to stop on his way home to get ice cream and blueberries.  After dinner, we took the ice cream out of its container and popped a blue candle in it cake-style.  Then, we surrounded our "cake" with blueberries and lit the candle before we singing “Happy Birthday” to Mary.  (Symbolically, I guess we should have gone for vanilla ice cream and blueberries, but we are all chocolate fans here!)

So it was that the celebration of Mary’s birth was woven throughout our day one day before the actual Nativity of Mary feast day.  (It wasn't until the next day that I realized I realized that Friday was not the 8th!) 

As for Mary's real Nativity feast day, it closed with my oldest asking me to hold him before he slept.  As I cradled him with his arm woven through me, I prayed with gratitude for all of my children -- all so precious and all such gifts.  I can imagine how thrilled St. Anne and St. Joachim were with the arrival of Mary.  I marvel at how our Father must burst with joy every day as He holds all of us in His love.

Happy (belated) Nativity of Mary, everyone!  (I celebrate early and offer wishes late, it seems.  Perhaps we should just celebrate for an entire week!)

How do you live the Liturgical Year with the young children in your life?


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