Sunday, April 10, 2016

When Celebrating the Liturgical Year Goes Viral

This past week, I learned what happens when celebrating the liturgical year goes viral. 

Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a bit.  Nothing truly went viral, but when my blog-friend Tracy, from A Slice of Smith Life, posted a picture of her Annunciation Day celebration on Facebook, it reminded me that the feast day had been moved this year to this past Monday, so I ended up quickly resetting a not-so-great night here by throwing together a celebration with my children. 

"Viral" Celebration at Our House

On the table, I placed a treat and small vignette for the Annunciation.  Then, I called to my children in a Mom-wants-you-to-do-something-voice. Surprisingly based on the day we'd been having, not a single one of them responded with a not-so-pleasant "What, Mo-om?" Instead, grace came through their immediate obedience.   

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 My three children promptly came into the kitchen, where they were delighted to see the table set for a surprise celebration and immediately began guessing what feast day it was.  As soon as they saw the Annunciation book I had ordered some time ago, but had never shown them, they knew why they had been called to the kitchen.  It was time to celebrate the Annunciation.

Together, we chatted about the symbolism of how the table was set:

  • white lace and candles symbolized purity 
  • a blue candle to represent royalty and the sky/heavens (Mary, Queen of Heaven)
  • a bowing Mary statue to remind us of the "handmaiden of the Lord"
  • an angel figurine which held a bird, representative to us of the Spirit and had the words "Love is at the center of our family because faith is at the center of our hearts," written on it, reminding us of the Holy Family, the Universal Church family, and God's love for us
  • vanilla ice cream with blueberries, representative of God's sweet love for us as well as Mary's typical colors

Then, the children dug into their ice cream with gusto as we read the book and, then, prayed a decade of the rosary together using the images and text of The Annunciation to inspire an intention before praying each Hail Mary.

After more smiles, chatter, and prayer - plus seconds on the treats for the children, the children blew out the candles.  As they did, we spoke about how they were blowing out literal lights, but should never let the light of love and faith that shines within them go dark and should, like Mary, always say "yes" to God.

Short, Sweet.  Simple. And oh-so-special.  Thank you, Tracy, for inspiring us to enjoy a faith-based centering on an evening that had been out of balance for us.

Viral Celebration at Friends' Homes

After my family's celebration  I messaged a friend who had just been sharing with me that she, too, was having a tough evening, and suggested that she reset with a focus on the Annunciation, too. She did, and we both posted photos of our simple liturgical celebrations online, whereupon another friend took note and ended up tagging me to thank me for the reminder.  She and her children enjoyed retelling the Annunciation story together before bed using their peg dolls.

Who knows where things went from there...

Keep Faith Going Viral

Imagine.  Mary's "yes" to God at the Annunciation resulted in the Nativity, which unfolded into the Lord teaching and preaching here on earth... the Passion... the Resurrection... the Apostles spreading the Gospel... the growth of the Church... so many choosing to love God and live with faith! We all know God can work in strange ways.  I am a firm believer that He can even work through Facebook.  The Spirit certainly uses the fingertips and keyboards of others to speak to me.  Imagine how He might use us all if we more often paused to listen and respond to promptings - even those that come through cyberspace. In our own domestic churches and in the world at large, the positive force of the Spirit can - and does - come into play! 

What celebration, reflection, expression, or action of faith might you share right now?  Who might model after you or pass faith forward?  God knows!  
May His will be done in us and through us.


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