Sunday, August 16, 2015

Celebrate the Assumption of Mary through Fun and Food!

It's no secret that my children and I enjoy learning about saints and celebrating the liturgical year through food and fun, as well a through more traditional prayers and Mass times. We love doing so even more with friends.

So, we were delighted the other day to bring to fruition some of the possible plans that I shared last week in our Assumption Day Playdate Round-Up.

Enjoying the Beauty of Creation

The playdate began with a nature walk to gather flowers for our rosary-decade craft.  What a beautiful easy trail with gorgeous views we were blessed to walk!

Prayer Time

Flowers gathered, we opened our faith-focused fun with a brief chat about the Assumption of Mary and this prayer:

Alternate Catholic Collect for the Feast of the Assumption

Father in heaven,
all creation rightly gives you praise
for all life and all holiness come from you.
In the plan of Your wisdom
she who bore the Christ in her womb
was raised body and soul in glory
to be with Him in heaven.
May we follow her example
in reflecting your holiness
and join in her hymn of endless life and praise.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
from the International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL)

 Symbolic Assumption of Mary Vases

(Please Note:  Affiliate links to Amazon follow.  If you click on one to make any purchase, we may receive compensation at no extra cost to you.  Thank you for supporting us this way.  See full disclosure here.) Following our opening prayer, we prepared vases by pouring blue and white water gel beads into recycled baby food jars and, then, filling the jars with water.

Then, each child chose 1-3 small reproductions of Assumption of Mary paintings to cut out and tape to their jars using clear packing tape.  (I had pre-selected a variety of famous works of the Assumption which I resized to be no more than 1.5 inches tall in order to fit onto the jars.  I pasted all of these into a one page document which I printed in triplicate to give the children an array of choices.)

Vases thus prepared, we prayed a decade of the rosary together, offering special intentions the children suggested and placing one wildflower in each vase with each Hail Mary we prayed.


After our prayers we chatted a little about the symbolism of our vases:
  • Mary is often depicted in blue for the heavens and white for purity, thus the color of the water beads.
  • We used water.  In the Bible, Jesus refers to "living water"...
  • In some locations around the globe, flowers are blessed on the Assumption of Mary feast day.Mary was the Mother of Jesus and was assumed into heaven.

Our Own Paintings

After our chat, I welcome the children to paint and craft using a variety of Assumption of Mary coloring pages that I'd found online and printed out.  

Nina decided to make a pop-out decoration with hers.

Faith through Food

While the children created their art (or just played together, as the case was with some of the kids), I set up our snack table with a white lace tablecloth layered over a blue one, blue and white candles, a statue of Mary that held blue and white rosary beads, and, of course symbolic foods.  To this set up  the children added their wildflower bouquets before we chatted about the symbolism of the food:
  • CocoWhip and blueberries to remind us of the heavens into which Mary was assumed
  • vanilla coconut milk ice cream and berries for the same reason

  • an herb-and-vegetable salad, since in some places people bless herbs and vegetables on the Assumption
  • herbed fruit punch, again for the herb-and-fruit blessing tradition

  • and GFCF cupcakes that we decorated with "clouds" of Cocowhip, sugar, or blue jimmies.

After praying grace and chatting about the symbolism of the food, we all enjoyed feasting!

Free Play Time!

Finally, since it was a hot day, the kids enjoyed a dip in the pool to cool off, after which hours and hours of chatting and play ensued.

It was another celebration filled with fun and faith.  How very blessed we were to experience it!

Of course, there are plenty more ideas to celebrate with in future years! 
Please feel free to pop over to see ones that I've collected on my growing Assumption Day Pinterest board.

I'd love to hear about your favorite resources and ideas for sharing about Marian feast days with children.  I'd also be delighted with anything you'd like to share in the way of food and fun as related to saints for upcoming feast days.  May we continue to bless one another and the children in our lives with enjoyable, yet meaningful study and celebration of the saints!


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