Liturgical Living with a (almost) Two Year Old

Day 6- home stretch now :-). Lately I’ve been reading lots of blogs that talk about liturgical living. I love the idea of celebrating feast days and developing traditions for my family. This post is in honor of all the great blogs out there sharing ideas about how to incorporate more liturgical living into family life. Some of my favorites are Kendra at Catholic All Year, Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas, Sarah at two Os + more, and Lacy at Catholic Icing. Thanks for all you do! You inspire me :-)

Often I have grand ideas about liturgical living- Recipes! Crafts! Prayers!- and then I remember that Mary isn’t even two yet. She doesn’t really care if her meal has been crafted according to a saintly theme- she just wants to know if there will be cheese and fruit. She doesn’t sit still for long stories or prayers, especially if there’s no book to hold. And our Advent calendar? Well, let’s just say that Mary doesn’t understand the concept of one per day. It was a constant battle of wills in our house until I just gave in and let her put all the little velcro pieces on the calendar at once. Eesh.

No need to throw in the towel altogether though. Even though Mary’s little, she can still participate in a lot- I just need to gear our activities to her level. Here’s what HAS worked for us:

  • Celebrating seasons instead of lots of saints’ feast days. As a toddler, Mary loves routine, so mixing things up all the time for saints’ feast days kind of throws her off. Liturgical seasons like Advent and Lent are more her thing right now. We’ll still observe a few feast days here and there, but we will probably do more when she gets older.
  • Simple songs. Mary loved the ritual of lighting an advent candle and singing an Advent song every night before bed. If we forgot one evening, she was quick to remind us!
  • Board books with religious themes. Mary has Baby’s First Easter, I Am Blessed, and Peek-a-boo Jesus, plus a whole host of Christmas story board books. She requests these often. I also made her a couple soft books from Magnetic Catholic’s Etsy shop. These come with us to Mass every week.

Right now we’re gearing up for Lent in our house. My plans so far are to make a King Cake for Fat Tuesday, cover the crucifixes in the house with purple cloth starting on Ash Wednesday, create a Lenten table centerpiece with a succulent plant and rocks, and sing  Lent song every night before bed. (I’ve spent ages looking for a Lent song that will work for us, and I think this might be the one- “Now Quit Your Care.”) Mary has recently shown great interest in crafts, so I will be hitting up the awesome blogs listed above for coloring sheets and craft ideas. I’ll try to find more Lent and Easter board books for our collection. I’m also hoping to involve her in cooking more, especially on no-meat Fridays. I think that’s enough for now. She’s too little to understand why I would ask her to give something up for Lent. She is cultivating patience and self-denial every day just by being a toddler!

I’m new to liturgical living, so please share with me what works for your family, especially with little ones. Thanks!

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5 Comments

  1. Kristi H.

     /  March 6, 2014

    These are lovely ideas, Laura! This was such a delight to read. I am thinking of how to incorporate Stations of the Cross in my work with young children… it can be really tactile and therefore accessible, I think. Aside from that, there’s just so much value (including for kids) in the liturgy itself, in praying together, and in seeing others live differently during Lent. These speak for themselves to some extent! Thanks for sharing, and Lenten blessings!

    Reply
    • Thanks Kristi! I’m also planning on making some stations of the cross eggs so Mary can learn the story with little tactile reminders. Blessings!

      Reply
  2. You are so sweet, Laura! And I LOVE the look of those soft Mass books from Etsy!

    Reply

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