Domestic Church: Liturgical Living

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by Katie Sciba

One of the biggest trends happening now among lay Catholics is a mode de vie called “liturgical living” – the intentional synchronization of your daily on-goings with those of the Church at large.

I’ve heard about liturgical living for years, but the phrase and all my inferences felt daunting. I could only imagine Pinterest-worthy celebrations of the Catholic calendar: feasts and seasons that would undoubtedly demand time and knowledge that I don’t have. I’ve seen Facebook posts of All Saints parties with elaborately detailed costumes and Marian feasts with corresponding cupcakes; both the cherries on top of special prayers offered and traditions practiced.

The families pulling off liturgical living made it seem effortless and consistent. I knew I wanted the same Catholic culture in my own domestic church, the same joy and spiritual education flowing through my home; but how was I to scale the heights of aligning my family’s life with that of the Church?

One step at a time.

It started with the Feast of St. Nicholas. After years of hardly acknowledging the day except in brief conversation, I stepped up my game at the last minute. Pulling candy reserved for Christmas morning, I stuffed my kids’ stockings and laid them out for the little ones to discover. Then I turned on Formed.org, and playing a cartoon of the story behind their jolly ol’ saint. My kids were over the moon and brimming with new understanding of who Santa Claus is and why he gives at Christmas. Just these few little things made an impression and gave our whole family more insight into the depth of Catholic history and tradition.

For the Feast of St. Lucy, we drove around town looking at Christmas lights in honor of she whose name means “light.”

For Marian solemnities, every member of our clan dons blue somewhere on their clothing because “it’s Mary’s color,” as my kids say. Andrew and I tell them the significance of Mary in Sacred Scripture and in our family.

I didn’t plan in advance for any of the above. We bought nothing extra, baked nothing fancy, and kept our celebrations suited to our family’s means, yet they were all effective. We made memories and participated in a realm so much bigger and more important than our general day-to-day. Such small gestures cultivate a new awareness of not only what the Catholic Church is doing and praying all over the world that same day, but also of Christ’s life. And I found that in just beginning with the Feast of St. Nicholas, I had motivation and enthusiasm to continue.

I can’t claim that we’ve made a huge overhaul in our family’s lifestyle by adopting liturgical living, but I’m hoping we get there. By adopting these practices and being more aware of the liturgical life of the Church in our daily lives, we are gradually aligning our lives with the liturgical calendar. We are breathing with the Church, with the life of the Body of Christ on earth, and getting a glimpse of what matters in the Kingdom of God.

Katie Sciba is married to Andrew and together they have five children. She is the author of thecatholicwife.net.

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