Catholic Activity: Sundays in the Family
Rev. Westhoff gives suggestions to the family for how to prepare for the Lord's Day on Saturday evening and then celebrate Sundays together more reverently.
We have covered very briefly the principal feasts and seasons of the Liturgical Year. But, this presentation would be more sadly inadequate than it is, if a word were not added on the family observance of the Lord's Day. The writers own opinion is that we must begin by bringing about a change in our use of Saturday night. If we can make of it, for all members of the family, a night "in" instead of the night "out," a great step will have been taken towards the sanctification of the Sunday. A half-hour spent in the family circle reading and discussing the Mass-text for the following day would make the participation of all in the Sunday Mass much more of a living experience. Early to bed on Saturday night will surely make for greater attention and devotion before the Altar the next day.
The Sunday itself should have an air of joyous celebration about it, not by excluding the recreational element which is so much a part of our American way of life, but by elevating that, too, to a supernatural level.
One final suggestion: Family prayers and devotions will be en-riched immeasurably if they include family song. That is definitely a lost art in our country, but it can be revived.
Our parochial school children know many hymns, and perhaps if they were encouraged to sing them at home, father and mother, too, might find that they are familiar from their own school days. The joyful heart expresses itself naturally in song. And if religious hymns contribute something to the joy of home life they will contribute something towards holiness as well.
Perhaps it might well be repeated that all that has been suggested--and, truthfully, only the surface has been scratched--will not appeal to everyone; all will not fit equally well in every home. But there is no limit to the adaptations that can be made. The effort to live in the spirit of our Holy Mother, the Church, the whole year through, will help to make a reality of the ideal that every Catholic home should be the church of God in miniature. That sincere and persevering effort will contribute much to the goal of making Catholic home life happy, by making it holy. At home, just as everywhere else, happiness and holiness go hand in hand.
Activity Source: Your Home, A Church in Miniature by Compiled by The Family Life Bureau in the early 1950s, The Neumann Press, Long Prairie, Minnesota, 1994