We're a few days away from the beginning of March, marking the beginning of the Lenten season.
Here are four important dates the Church honors this month along with ideas and resources to help
you and your family learn, celebrate, and grow in your home!
March 1: Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent, so remember this is a day of fasting and abstinence! "When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards," USCCB.
Make sure you receive your ashes on your forehead - not only is this important for yourself, but it can be a way to start the conversation with your children and even other people you might come across that day. I love Ash Wednesday because it's so easy to tell when another person is a Christian - I feel like it brings us all together, regardless of denomination! If you've never learned about the Catholic tradition of Ash Wednesday and Lent, you can learn more here.
March 17: Saint Patrick
This feast is especially important in our home because it's Lily's birthday! This year she'll be turning FOUR, we'll be going to our local Saint Patrick's Day parade, and attending Mass at Saint Patrick's Parish. We have this book about Saint Patrick, which is surprisingly informative and thorough for being a children's book so I highly recommend it! And this movie about Saint Patrick is available to stream free with Amazon Prime. We can also use this opportunity to learn a little bit more about Ireland - try having an Irish dish for dinner, like Shepherd's pie or Corned Beef with Cabbage.
March 19: Saint Joseph
Today's feast is in honor of Saint Joseph, the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus! We can use today's feast as an opportunity to celebrate fatherhood and the humble, sacrificial masculinity Saint Joseph lived out. Consider making a special Saint Joseph altar in your home, or take a little extra time to write a note to the fathers figures in your life who have protected or cared for you as Saint Joseph cared for Mary and Jesus.
March 25: Solemnity of the Annunciation
March 25th marks the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the date on which the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary. Read the Biblical account of the Annunciation in Luke 1:26-38, in which Mary replies to Gabriel, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Take some time today to reflect on ways that we can respond to Jesus in this same way, following in the footsteps of Our Blessed Mother.
LITURGICAL LIVING DISCLAIMER
When you're just starting out, pick one or two feast days per month to celebrate. Once you get the hang of that, add more in one at a time. The liturgical year is rich with tradition and that means it can feel overwhelming at first, but keep in mind that this is meant to be a joy and not a burden. You will not win mom-of-the-year by stressing yourself and your kids out by trying to elaborately celebrate a feast day every single day. And speaking of being elaborate - you don't have to be. If you find a lot of joy in being crafty or making themed dinners, go for it. But it's not a requirement. Saying a special prayer over dinner or mentioning the day's feast once or twice throughout the day is wonderful and can have a lasting impression on your kids. Or if you can do it, go to Mass! Mass is always a good idea. ;)
I'd love to hear how you and your family are going to observe Lent & celebrate these different feasts!
It's such a fun month with so many opportunities to learn and grow in our faith!