Liturgy for Families and Coloring Sheets
Included in your box is a a Liturgy for Families which is a series of brief devotional liturgies based on the order for early evening found in the Book of Common Prayer. We’ve adapted it for each Sunday in October and included some table blessings and collect prayers for creation. We recommend picking one night each week that works best for your household for gathering and prayer.
You also received a set of creation-themed coloring sheets by Illustrated Ministry that can be used as a prayer tool throughout the month or as an activity.
Building a Home Altar
Find a place, somewhere at the heart of your home, but away from it’s busiest buzzing. You will want space to set up a prayer place and your nature tray or basket. Ideally, you will also have space for your materials for the month, and any Creation books you checked out from church or that you had on hand.
Make sure this place is eye level for the shortest member of your household, and allow your children to explore the space anytime they want. The materials suggested are tactile because they draw people, especially young children in, and allow them to become focused and absorbed in manipulating materials. Such times are sacred as they hold the our attention and focus on the work of God. In the best moments, they also provide space for silence and wonder, shifting the body’s attention to the work of God. In short, it’s prayer!
You Will Need: a green cloth or napkin for Ordinary Time (if not a napkin or cloth, scrap, green cardstock, or even craft paper can work) and your Prayer tools:
Place your cloth down on your chosen prayer surface and incorporate any of the following that aid your household in prayer, especially a candle, cross, and icon of St. Francis.
Small children can be taught to hold each item in their hand and to thank God for it “Thank you God for the shell which reminds us of our baptism, the gift of water, and the magnificence of oceans.” “Thank you for this candle which gives light and reminds us that Jesus is our Light.”
- Crosses: You received a small olive wood cross in your box. If you have crosses you have been gifted or have collected from travels, place those on the altar, too. You can also make a cross with some hemp cord and two sticks. Just put them together and wrap with the cord!
- Icons: You received an icon of St. Francis in your box. You can also add other icons, or postcards of a religious work you picked up at a museum.
- Prayer list: Write down the names of people, animals, or places you would like to pray for this month. Many children in late elementary school and older will be aware of the ecological impacts of mass consumption, pollution, or contamination of water. This prayer list can be a place to keep such things in mind. How might our time together this month make a difference for how we receive and care for the world, especially parts of it and people in it that/who are hurting?
- Shell: A shell is a simple reminder of baptism, the gift of sea creatures, and the magnificence of oceans.
- Prayer Beads or Prayer Rope: Included in your box are materials to make a prayer rope with beads. You can tie a knot after each bead or just string all the beads together and tie it into a circle. These are especially helpful for praying for specific people or things. You can also take each bead and say the same prayer over (like “Lord Jesus Son of God, Have mercy on me a sinner”) or each line from a prayer like the Lord’s Prayer (“Our Father / Who Art in Heaven / Hallowed Be Thy Name”)
- Rock: A rock is a reminder of God’s care for the world “in all ages.” All time, like all things, are held by God. For children not ready to think in such abstractions, a rock is simply from the earth.
- A Candle: You received a votive candle in your box, but you may have a tea light or other candle you like. Beeswax candles are especially nice because their wax is a gift from the bees.
- Vase: Add flowers, greens, or branches o from your walks throughout the month.