Faith at HomeExplore and enjoy your faith with your kids!
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Tips & ideas
Tips & ideas
|Sundays + Children and worship + Tips & ideas|
CreativityDecorate a white pillar candle for your Sunday dinner table; cut shapes from sheets of colored beeswax and press them into place on the candle, or use colored wax decorating pens to draw directly on the candle.
FoodMake a favorite meal together for Sunday supper. Or plan a meal to prepare ahead, and let the children make the table special with decorations, place cards, or napkin folding!
PlayCreate a simple felt play set with symbols such as a dove, starburst, lamb, cross, rainbow, Holy Family, hills, river/water, ... Think of a story or two and the simplest colored shapes to cut from felt for each story. Add a felt-covered small board or tray, and introduce it to your children.
TraditionsEnjoy singing with your children the refrain from a favorite hymn, or a special bit of service music. Teach them a prayer often used in your church's services, such as the Lord's Prayer.
OutdoorsHarvest flowers or vegetables from the garden or buy them locally grown at a farm stand or farmers' market. Gather interesting leaves or grasses. Enjoy them in a vase or bowl on the Sunday table.
Sundays Are Worth the Effort
"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed. It is the smallest of all seeds, but a man took it and planted it in his garden and it grew and grew until it became a tree and all the birds in the air came and nested in its branches."
Is it easy to bring our children to church on Sunday? No. Do most of us have routines or traditions that celebrate Sunday as special? Not really. Does it make a difference for our children's faith if we do? Yes!
It isn't easy to get the family to church on Sunday or create Sunday traditions, but the impact of this weekly effort on our children is enormous. Maybe it's a struggle to get to church regularly, or we long for a peaceful church service, or we're lucky if we manage to light a candle at a Sunday meal. Yet every effort strengthens our children's experience of Sundays as extra special.
In the first century of Christianity, Christians didn't yet observe Easter. When the early Christians came together every week, they commemorated Christ's death and resurrection, the essential story of Christianity, just as we do now at Easter. Week after week they gathered as the Church, read the sacred stories, sang, and shared a Communion meal. We follow their lead in our church services, gathering for a "little Easter" each Sunday.
In home rituals and traditions, our family can honor and enjoy Sunday. In weekly church services, our children can experience being part of the Church with us. Bit by bit we can create a deep, powerful connection to our faith for the entire family. It's worth the effort!
What to do for a Sunday?
Think Easter. Dye eggs! Make a special bread for the evening meal, or a favorite brunch dish.
On Saturday night, make preparations so you can arrive at church unrushed and ready. Perhaps light a candle for your Saturday evening meal.
On Sunday, read a favorite Bible story, parable, or story of a saint. Talk about something you or your children remember from the Bible readings, sermon, or church school lesson. Invite friends to eat a Sunday meal with you. Enjoy a special dessert. Go for a family walk.
Some things you try may become favorite Sunday rituals, and others may be fun to do occasionally. Try something this week, and something else next week. Enjoy some simple Sunday rituals and traditions, and keep what your family likes best.
Barbara Laufersweiler is an at-home mom, an Episcopalian, and the creator of Faith at Home, http://www.faith-at-home.com/ , a Web site offering help to parents as they explore and enjoy faith with their children. Copyright © 2002 Barbara K. Laufersweiler. All rights reserved.
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