Easy January Liturgical Living Ideas!
Happy New Year!! After a long 2020 full of surprises and struggles, I am so glad to see the beginning of another year. In honor of a new year and month, I made a list of ideas for liturgical living through January with feast days and ways to celebrate!
Jan 1. THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY MOTHER OF GOD
Patron of: Humanity and all good deeds
A Little Bit About Mary Mother of God: The Catholic Church celebrates Mary as the Mother of God because she is the mother of Jesus, who is God. By carrying and birthing Jesus, Mary brought our Savior and Redeemer into the world. This Solemnity is to recognize and celebrate Mary in the highest way, more important than other feast days or memorials.
Ways to Celebrate Mary Mother of God:
- As a Holy Day of Obligation, the Church calls us to mass on January 1. Join together with family and friends to celebrate!
- Offer Mary some flowers as a gesture of love and respect
Jan 4. ST. ELIZABETH ANNE SETON
Patron of: Catholic Schools, Widows, Seafarers
A Little Bit about St. Elizabeth Anne: After being widowed at a young age, St. Elizabeth Anne founded the first US community of religious women, the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph, as well as a religious school. After a long life of service, Mother Seton became the first native-born American to be named a “Saint.”
Ways to Celebrate St. Elizabeth Anne Seton:
- Pray this prayer: (courtesy of Catholic.org)
Lord God, you blessed Elizabeth Seton with gifts of grace as wife and mother, educator and foundress, so that she might spend her life in service to your people. Through her example and prayers may we learn to express our love for you in love for our fellow men and women. We ask this through Christ our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
- In honor of Mother Seton as the first American “Saint,” bake an American themed dessert! We love this brownie recipe and this blueberry buckle recipe!
- Coloring: We love coloring at our house! I love coloring as an activity that the whole family can use to relax and unwind before we start the girls bedtime routine. Mother Seton coloring pages can be found online for the whole family. Here is a link to my blog post with tons of great resources for coloring pages!
Jan 6. EPIPHANY
About the Epiphany: Known as the Feast of the Epiphany or Three Kings Day, the Epiphany celebrates the day that baby Jesus first revealed Himself to the gentiles! This is one of our favorite feasts to celebrate during the Christmas season.
Ways to Celebrate the Epiphany:
- Star crafts: stars are a great way to celebrate the epiphany, as they represent the star that the three kings followed to Jesus. From star garlands to cookies, there are plenty of ways to teach your kiddos about the holiday.
- A King Cake: traditionally in the shape of a crown, king cakes represent the three kings and their travel to see baby Jesus in Bethlehem.
- Music: there are dozens of Epiphany playlists on Spotify, Apple Music, or whenever you stream your favorite songs.
Jan 10. THE BAPTISM OF JESUS
About the Baptism of Jesus: The baptism of Jesus today ends the Christmas season and celebrates the day in which, surprise, Jesus was baptized! Christ is sinless, but his baptism by John the Baptist marks the beginning of his public ministry.
Ways to Celebrate the Baptism of Jesus:
- Celebrate your own baptism: a meaningful way to celebrate Christ’s baptism is to reflect on our own and its significance. This is a great day to renew your baptismal promises!
- If it's warm where you live I think that some water fun outside would be a great way to remember Jesus' baptism.
- Say this prayer (courtesy of Catholic Daily)
Lord, I believe that You are the Son of the Eternal Father and the Savior of the World. I believe that You have brought about a new era of grace and truth and that I am called to follow You wherever You lead. As we begin this liturgical season of Ordinary Time, may it be a time of extraordinary grace in which I daily heed Your voice. Jesus, I trust in You.
Jan 20. ST. SEBASTIAN
Patron of: archers, athletes, and soldiers
A Little Bit About St. Sebastian: A soldier and eventually a Christian in the Roman army, St. Sebastian encouraged his fellow christians to remain faithful despite the intense persecution they all faced. Ultimately, St. Sebastian was killed by the emperor after he confronted the emperor about his cruelty to Christians. He was named the patron saint of athletes because of the energy and vigor he spread the faith with.
Ways to Celebrate St. Sebastian
- Make toy bow and arrows with your kids! The first attempt on St. Sebastian’s life was by bow and arrow, and he is remembered for his strength through intense physical and emotional pain. Popsicle sticks and rubber bands can make a fun toy that also explains the importance of the day.
- Celebrate physical activity: in honor of the patron saint of athletes and also to celebrate the bodies that have been blessed with, celebrate the day with any fitness of your choice. This can be a run, bike ride, gym session, or a walk in the park -- whatever you can and want to do!
Jan 21. ST. AGNES
Patron of: chastity
A Little Bit About St. Agnes: St. Agnes is one of the first women to be named a Saint! While the details of her martyrdom are unknown, it is likely that she was martyred between the ages of 12 and 13 for refusing to marry a Roman official’s son. Instead, Agnes chose a life with Christ in a time when Christianity was underground and highly persecuted. Today, we celebrate her bravery and commitment to Christ.
Ways to Celebrate St. Agnes:
- Cotton-ball Lamb: making sheep out of cotton balls and construction paper is great for kids! You can also use cotton swabs or printer paper instead.
- Lamb Cake: trying baking your favorite cake recipe in the shape of a lamb with coconut flakes as the wool.
- Reflect on St. Agnes' strength amidst incredible persecution, even at her young age.
Jan 28. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
Patron of: Students
A Little Bit About St. Thomas Aquinas: Originally in school to become a monk, St. Thomas found faith at a young age. He believed that faith and reason, both of God, are essential truths. He was incredibly quiet in school leading to his peers giving him the nickname "dumb ox", but during his lifetime he was renowned for his incredible intellect. He not only wrote many defences of the truths of the Catholic Faith but he also wrote "Tantum Ergo" at the request of Pope Urban IV when the feast of Corpus Christi was first extended to be celebrated by the whole church.
Ways to Celebrate St. Thomas Aquinas:
- Learning: while it may seem simple, we can celebrate learning and St. Thomas by making ourselves, students. Whether it is a new hobby, a section of scripture, or a new skill, we can appreciate St. Thomas by furthering his mission.
- Sing or listen to the hymn "Tantum Ergo" together as a family!
Again, Happy New year, and I wish you a wonderful 2021 full of joy, peace, and health (and hopefully an end to Covid!). I hope that these ideas help you and your family celebrate the beauty of our faith in a meaningful and fun way.