I recently wrote a blog about Finding Simplicity: 21 Days to a Balanced Catholic Life.
One of the days focused on Liturgical Living.
I’ve heard this phrase often. At the Bellator Society, we refer to it as Living the Liturgy. In the Catholic Church, when you can parallel your life to the rhythms of the liturgical calendar, you are really onto something. You don’t have to pay much attention to pick up on the fact that our liturgical calendar is cyclical much like the solar calendar that governs the months and seasons. You know that in a few months, we will be in a new season and you plan your family’s activities, schedules, routines, wardrobes and finances accordingly.
Similarly, in the Church, we begin our year in Advent move to Christmas, then to ordinary time, then to Lent and Easter and back to ordinary time and so on.
These seasons prepare us to celebrate important feasts in the life of the Church. We learn to fast in preparation and to feast in celebration. There are many feast days in between that also help focus our hearts on important dates and honor certain people. For instance, in your family, I bet you celebrate your birthday, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We do this also in the Catholic Church!
Some feast days are a way to remember the birth or death of a particular saint or martyr. We give honor to our heavenly mother, Mary, and to Jesus’ earthly father, Saint Joseph. We are a church of joy and celebrations. We celebrate everyone! If you are part of a large family or know someone who is, it seems like there is always a birthday, anniversary or other milestone date to celebrate!! The Catholic Church is one large family.
Back to my 21 day simplicity exercise-how do we live the liturgy?
Examples given (just to name a few) were: celebrate the the feast day of your patron saint, participate fully in the various liturgical celebrations (First Friday, Holy Week, Corpus Christi processions etc), read the daily Mass readings and prepare meals that are inspired by the liturgical seasons.
It just so happened that I was introduced to this Liturgical Living theme on a Saturday. I had it fresh on my brain. The next day was Pentecost—the day all Catholics and many Christians celebrate the Holy Spirit coming to the apostles and to Mary in the form of fire, giving the power and authority to teach and preach in the name of Jesus. We consider it the Church’s birthday! I knew priests would be wearing red vestments as a symbol of the fire, and I knew the church would likely be decorated in other red cloths around the alter and statues.
Liturgical living kept coming back to me!
I decided to wear a red linen dress to Mass as a tiny little symbol of my heart being in synch with the rhythm of the church. We walked in, my daughter looks around and asks why everyone is dressed in red (well, everyone except her, her sister, and her daddy!). Ok, not everyone was in red, but a goodly amount of people did wear some shade of red.
I smiled on the inside as I united my soul and my intentions to that of the worldwide church. I felt like I dressed the part of the actual birthday celebration. How do you incorporate Liturgical Living into your life and the life of your family? I’m looking for fresh ideas!