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Forging Traditions

We’re back from blog-death over here. I figured the beginning of the new Liturgical Year was a good time to resurrect. Speaking of which, this is my very favorite Liturgical season. I really love Advent for the sake of Advent, not just because it heralds the coming of the Christmas Season (which is also pretty fabulous). The candles on the Advent wreath, gathering light as the weeks go by; the beautiful and haunting songs we sing; and the call to remember Who is, or ought to be, the center of the entire Liturgical Year. Love it.

As a culture at large, American Catholics do a pretty dismal job at celebrating the various feasts and fasts that make up our rich heritage. Advent seems to get lost between Thanksgiving (not a religious feast!) and Insta-Christmas, which inevitably begins on Black Friday. It’s such a shame, because so many traditions could be celebrated during those four weeks.

When I was young, my parents began to become more aware of the many ways to draw families into the Church’s calendar, incorporating the Jesse Tree into our Advent repertoire, as well as learning more hymns besides “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”, and digging into some books centered on Advent. We put out our shoes for St. Nicholas Day a few years, too. We waited until Gaudete Sunday, or sometimes later, to pick out and trim our Christmas tree, and we watched the little wooden Three Magi travel from one end of the house to the hearth Nativity scene over the course of the month.  As an adult, I’ve come to discover even more feasts and ways to celebrate them, thanks to a few books and the trusty Google.

Tom and I want to be intentional, now that Lucy is here, about the traditions we begin and carry on in our life as the domestic church. I’d love it if my children grew up saying, “Oh yeah, we always do such-and-such on St. X’s day, or sing this song during Lent,” and so forth. Family traditions are the framework on which children begin to pin their ideas of time’s passage, celebration, and a season for everything. Including one that comes before Christmas.

So, we’re making an effort this month to do normal Advent things together– the candles, the hymns, and reading through the book of Isaiah. But what I’m also excited about are all the feast days tucked into this month: St. Nicholas, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and of course, the one we’re most looking forward to- St. Lucy! We’re planning our meals so that they reflect that day’s feast in some way. And I’m still trying to figure out what one stuffs into an almost-8-month-old’s tiny shoe on St. Nicholas Day??

Stay tuned for pictures of Lucy dressed as her namesake, our attempt at pfeffernüsse, and more!

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{Lucy spends 90% of her day using every surface in our house to pull up on, and then tries to let go. Gravity’s got her down a few times already.}

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4 thoughts on “Forging Traditions

  1. OH, I feel you. This is exactly what I’m trying to do (and my little boy is 9 months old too!), and what I’m kinda talking about on my blog now (and next Tuesday). I got a book called The Catholic Home by Meredith Gould. It’s helpful a bit in trying to become an intentional Catholic! Thanks for writing this!

    • Oh, great! I will definitely check out that book. I love getting more ideas! I have A Book of Feasts and Seasons by Joanna Bogle, which is lovely, but based on British interpretations of feasts, so some don’t relate. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Pingback: My Nativity Set: The Wise Men (NOT SHELF ELVES!) | Sheridanigans

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