Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

Family Activities for Ordinary Time

by Unknown


Activities to help families celebrate Ordinary Time in the domestic church.

Publisher & Date

Catholic Culture, November 29, 2018

Life can become complicated with worldly cares, and too much materialism and involvement in secular values. Living the year with the Church is a stablizer, the way to keep first things first. We are part of the Church and therefore we have a liturgical year to live. Christ is our life and we should pattern our lives after His. Each season of the year provides us with numerous oportunities to incorporate the Church year into our own domestic churches. Thus the making of wreaths, baking of cakes, crowning of kings, dressing of dolls, cutting, pasting, sewing, planting becomes our way of transforming ordinary activities into supernatural opportunities. We hope you will find this section helpful and that you will glean a few practices which will benefit your family and lead you deeper into the mystery of the Mystical Body. (Excerpts from The Year and Our Children by Mary Reed Newland)

Spring Activities

Most of Springtime falls in the Lent or Easter season depending on whether Easter is early or late. Ordinary time begins on the Monday after Pentecost Sunday. This year that is in the middle of May, next year in early June.

The emergence of new plants and flowers makes this an ideal time of year to choose a Mary Garden as a family project. This practice began in medieval times and the gardens were made up of all the flowers and herbs that are ascribed by love and legend as a special tribute to the Blessed Virgin. This charming and inspiring tradition has been revived in many places in Europe and more recently in this country (Excerpts from The Easter Book by Francis X. Weiser, S.J.). There are also other appropriate family activities for May. We have listed a few suggestions below.

Summer Activities

This is the season when we enjoy a pause in our usual activities — a time for joy and exuberance, rest and relaxation. All of summertime falls within Ordinary Time or as it's called in Austria, the "green meadow".

Summer allows us a chance to spend more time with our families and to get to know them better. It is also a good time to get closer to our brothers and sisters in heaven. Besides attending daily Mass and celebrating the lives of the saints we can incorporate pilgrimages to various shrines into our vacation or free time.

Another fun activity is the building of bonfires which is customary for the eve of the feast of the Birth of St. John the Baptist. Telling stories, singing songs and hymns around a bonfire is also a good activity for late August and early September.

Since the children are out of school and we have more time we can start the practice of reciting the Liturgy of the Hours. This will teach them to join their prayers to the entire Mystical Body by participating in the prayer of the Church.

Fall Activities

Ordinary Time covers most of the fall season ending with the Feast of Christ the King and the beginning of Advent. Nature's summer is gradually giving way to autumn. It is the same in the liturgy. We will now be contemplating the four last things as we approach the end of our liturgical year. We are beginning to think about the end of the world. Autumn reminds us of the evening tide of life, and we pray that God will not abandon us in this evening tide of the year and of life. (Seasons of Grace by Pius Parsch)

Since the weather will be starting to become inclement we can turn to indoor activities for recreation. A couple of creative ideas that help to teach the Faith are making banners with saints' symbols and starting a family and friends of Jesus scrapbook.

As a means of keeping Sunday holy (see Dies Domini) we can spend extra time discussing the readings and visiting the cemetery.

Winter Activities

Ordinary Time briefly touches the winter season right after Christmas from the Baptism of the Lord to Ash Wednesday. We have just celebrated the birth of Our Savior and now, just as everything is dead and dormant, we are looking toward our Lord's Passion and death on the cross.

As the evenings grow longer and we are forced by the weather to stay indoors we can use this time to grow closer to our family. Depending on taste and talent you can choose to have family entertainment nights. If anyone can play an instrument or can sing you can have your own show. Group singing is also fun and no one has to have a great voice to participate. Reading aloud to children (even older ones) can provide an evening of pleasure. Be sure to pick a book that you like to read. And if all else fails don't forget the practice of story-telling. Children enjoy this activity immensely.

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