First question you might be asking yourself is why is the High School Youth minister writing a blog about littles? Well if you didn’t know I am not JUST a High School Youth Minister. I am also a MOM and I have two littles, Eliza and Emilia. Second question – That is great you have kids, Leigh Anne, but this website is for the youth of Saint Brigid. Well this is where you are mistaken. It is our hope as a youth ministry team for this new website to bring something to the table to every parishioner at Saint Brigid, so teens, parents, moms, dads, pull up a chair.
I know for some of you following this blog you may be intrigued by the idea of liturgical living, but you aren’t sure where to start. In particular many of you moms and dads may be thinking that there is no way you can get the kids on board, much less excited about some new traditions in your home. If you are like me and you have littles you may be thinking what is the point? They can’t grasp the meaning behind these traditions. My husband and I had a hard time figuring out just where to start with our kids too, so I am here to help you to introduce liturgical living to the littles in your home.
Start with a really simple step and one that the littles will have fun with. Our family loves to celebrate Baptismal days. I definitely overthought this at first and it was something new for me. When we decided to start this tradition for our family I had to ask my mom when I was baptized. She didn’t know and she had lost my certificate. Way to go mom. My mind went so far beyond what was necessary and my husband caught on to how stressed it was making me so he stepped in. He decided we would simply go to Mass and the person we are celebrating that day can choose a “treat” for after Mass. It works out if you Baptize your infant on a Saturday then their Baptismal day will most likely fall on a Sunday, so the first year it is easy to remember to make it to Mass. On Eliza’s first Baptismal day we went to Mass and afterward went to get cookies. It was simple and fun! Eliza is now three, so this year we actually got to explain a little bit more about the Sacrament itself. Both of our girls have so much fun with this simple and easy tradition of ours.
The second fun and easy thing to do with your littles is to choose a patron saint for your little guy or gal and celebrate their feast day. Praying through the saints can be a Catholic tradition that is greatly misunderstood and choosing a patron for your little can help them understand more about the saints early on. It will be great for your little as they grow to have a saint’s example to follow and to turn to when they need someone to pray for them. Eventually when they reach Confirmation age they will choose another saint and they will have a little saint army cheering them on in heaven. Eliza Marie was named in honor of St. Elizabeth and the Blessed Mother, so we celebrate her feast day on May 31st, the feast of the Visitation, and we keep it simple – Mass and a treat. Emilia Therese is named for the mother of St. John Paul the Great and St. Therese of Lisieux and we celebrate her feast day on October 1st, the feast of St. Therese. As your littles grow feast days are great opportunities to teach them about our Church Triumphant.
Finally embrace the liturgical seasons of the church with your littles and have some fun. We have a number of different traditions for Advent, Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. This year when we were quarantined for Holy Week I printed out some stations, let my girls color them, and then taped them to the fence and we walked through each station and talked about what was happening.
Typically, we attend an outdoor Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, but we had to get creative this year and my kids loved it and doing it as a family in our yard I didn’t have to shush them and mouth “so sorry” every two minutes to the rest of the crowd trying to pray and I could explain each station on their level. My kids, like most, get really excited about fire, so each night during Advent we light the appropriate candles on the Advent wreath and sing O Come, O Come Emmanuel. These are just a couple of examples of some easy ways to introduce liturgical living to your littles. It may seem fruitless, but we have found in our home that these little things are what mean the most to our littles. The best way to teach littles about the faith is giving them ways to be involved, to have fun, and to truly experience faith.
I invite you to comment below with some ways you practice liturgical living with your littles and if you are looking for more suggestions make sure to reach out!
Leigh Anne Butrum is the youth minister
at Saint Brigid. Her husband Jesse is
the youth minister at All Saints and they
have two daughters. She has a degree in
Theology from Belmont Abbey College.
She loves hiking, reading, lake life and Auburn football. War Eagle!