I haven’t really been “living liturgically” very long. Over the course of the last 5 years I have been sort of collecting traditions, prayers and celebrations to add to our daily life. If you are wondering what liturgical living is it is simply a way to center your life around Christ by following the Church’s liturgical seasons at home. I have really grown to love incorporating aspects of the season into our home. How people live liturgically varies.
The fact that my heart has been opened to the beautiful world of liturgical living is a wonderful testament to how the Lord is always working on our hearts. For many years I had an pretty intense aversion to the lives of the Saints. Reading about Saints often left me feeling anxious and discouraged. I would read about their amazing devotion to the Lord, and their often intense suffering and be overwhelmed by my own short comings. It took a while for me to understand that we are called to holiness in unique ways. Now I find inspiration and support through the Saints and really enjoy learning and celebration their lives.
As I began this journey into liturgical living I quickly learned that if I wanted to incorporate some of these celebrations and observations into our already busy lives then I was going to have to get organized. Organization is not my strong suit, I’m more the “flexible, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants Mom” then I am “got all my ducks in a row Mom” So I created a liturgical living binder. I wanted one place to keep all of my materials and dates from year to year. I love to create prayer/quote cards or have an image to display for special days in the liturgical calendar—feast days, liturgical seasons, ect. but I could never find where I put them, so I spent a lot of time searching or recreating! My liturgical living binder has really helped make living liturgically much easier!
I recently created an ETSY shop to sell my binder pages and I wanted to do a little walk through of my binder to share ideas on how I put it together and use it.
Here is a little looksy at mine:
I printed out the liturgical season pages on cardstock and then added a tab to each one. I organize by liturgical seasons, as well as months, although it gets a little tricky since some months/feast days fall in different seasons depending on the year.
At the beginning of the binder I keep all my dates organized. I use the year at a glance page to try to keep dates all together in one place which helps with monthly planning. I add baptismal dates and feast days that I would like to observe as well as the start of the different liturgical season. I also keep the list of baptismal dates of our family and godchildren in the front. Behind the baptismal dates I have a sleeve protector where I keep pictures of baptisms so that we can pull them out when we celebrate to remember the day, and I don’t have to go digging for one! (remember organization is not a strength on mine!) I also have a page of the birth dates and death dates for our deceased loved ones. I like to try to remember to pray for them and think of them on their birthday. Sometimes we toast them with their favorite drink or do an activity in their honor as a way to keep their memory alive.
Within each liturgical season section I add a monthly dates page and sleeve protectors. One per month works for me, but it will depend on what you want to store, which will depend on what liturgical living looks like for you. I add dates for anything that we want to recognize for the month on the planning page and anything that goes with those days in a sleeve protector. One thing I enjoy doing for feast day celebrations is creating a display. It usually includes a printed quote, prayer or scripture that I put in a frame. Sometimes I print off an image from the internet or purchased from ETSY, and usually candles.
A display is not essential, it is just something that have enjoyed doing to give a little focal point, and to remind us of what we are celebrating. Sometimes I have a coloring page or activity for the kids, but not always. I have found that a treat or meal that ties into the day often draws my kids into the moment. At the end of our celebration I take anything that we used that could be reused in years to come and slide them into the sheet protector in the binder. Then next year I am ready to roll without a lot of searching, printing, etc. This has made pulling off a feast day celebration so much easier.
For example for All Souls Day I like to display pictures or funeral cards for those who have passed on. I keep these stored in my liturgical living binder so setting up only takes a couple of minutes.
The other handy page to use in this section is the feast day planning pages. If you are like me sometimes I have a hard time remembering what we have done in years past, so I like having a little write up of recipes, activities and prayers that we have used before. I use it as my jumping off point when I am planning a celebration. I like to try new things, but it is nice to know what we have done, and enjoyed before. I also use the planning page to jot down ideas that I have seen others try…if I hear of a cool tradition or feast day idea I like to make a note of it on a planning page so that I can remember to try it next year.
I also use the liturgical season planning page to keep track of ideas and plan for each year. I keep old planning pages to remind me what we have done and use them as I start planning for the season ahead.
The nice thing about the binder is that you don’t have to start over each year. You can change a few dates, make a new year at a glance, maybe update your monthly pages and then be ready to rock and roll!
I hope this helps give you some ideas on how you might organize for your home! If you have any questions or suggestions for pages you think might be helpful let me know!