Faith at Home

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Every Day, Many Ways

Bringing faith into family life

by Barbara Laufersweiler

There are lots of ways to bring your faith into your family's life. Often it helps tremendously to pay attention to what your children say & do, to everyday incidents and accidents, to your own responses. As you begin to notice the fingerprint of the Holy in normal family life, it is easier to help your children notice it too.

You might mention why you get ready for Sunday services and perhaps have a special Sunday meal, and how Sunday is special to you. As your children talking about God or about something hard to explain about the world, you might make a small comment that occurs to you. Be open and aware.

Another way to bless your children's lives is to pay special attention to time: morning & bedtime, the weekly cycle, nature's seasons, the church's seasons & holy days, and birthdays & other family events.

The church's special times that are the most significant and symbolically rich are Sunday (a weekly little Easter, celebrated long before the yearly Easter); the three days of Good Friday, Holy Saturday, & Easter Day; the Easter season; Lent; Christmas-Epiphany; and, finally, Advent.

A great start is to enrich your Sunday traditions; choose some Good Friday, Holy Saturday, & Easter Day activities to do at home; and begin to make Advent a relatively quiet time of preparation for Christmas.

In addition to church seasons and holy days, you allow room for the Holy Spirit in family life when you celebrate birthdays, other milestones, and transitions such as moving out of one home and into another, a new baby, planting the year's garden, and so on. When you mark family events with some celebration or sense of occasion it adds joy and God's grace to your life together. Children will recognize those hints of the Holy in the church's traditions and celebrations too.

So it's simple: look and listen with faith, pay special attention to some days and times of year, and celebrate family occasions small and great. Your children will come to rely on the many little blessings of daily life, cycles & seasons, and family events to help them recognize God's hand in the midst of every day.

Further reading

To Dance With God: Family ritual and community celebration, by Gertrud Mueller Nelson (Paulist Press, 1986)

Celebrating the Church Year with Young Children, by Joan Halmo (The Liturgical Press, 1989).

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Barbara Laufersweiler is an at-home mom, an Episcopalian, and the creator of Faith at Home,, a Web site offering help to parents as they explore and enjoy faith with their children. Copyright © 2001 Barbara K. Laufersweiler. All rights reserved.

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Copyright © 2002 Barbara Laufersweiler
Last updated October 22, 2001


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