Family Devotions

These pages are here to help you continue to grow closer to God and each other by giving you ideas and linking you to resources that will help you establish regular family devotions.

 

Whether you are just starting out or you want to explore more options, there is something for you here.

“The Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called ‘the domestic church,’ a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity”

(Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1666)

Family Prayer

Bible Study

Prepare for Sunday

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Church Seasons

Serving Others

Getting Started

It can be intimidating, and sometimes overwhelming when thinking about starting family prayer time or devotion time. It may take some effort to plan, but it will always be worth it to see your children love their Catholic faith!

 

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

 

Start Small

  • Changing children's routines and our expectations of them is better done gradually and with intention rather than suddenly. 

  • This will look different for each family, but it may mean you …

    • start by having family devotions 1x-2x per week or

    • set a goal of spending 10 minutes each morning reading a Bible passage and praying together or

    • use a devotional book or activity centered around a holiday, like Easter, to build momentum or excitement.

    • It’s okay to start small. Just start somewhere! 

  • Take one idea to integrate into your daily life.

    • For example, pray together before dinner.

    • or pray a family Rosary (or part of a Rosary) on Sunday evening.

    • Perhaps attend a daily mass one extra day a week.

Be Realistic and Authentic to Your Family's Personalities

  • consider the activity level of your kids (Some people learn best or focus better while moving; others need stillness and quiet. Some kids will listen more attentively while coloring a picture.)

  • Adjust your activities, the resources you use, and the time you spend according to the needs of your kids and your family.

  • choose age appropriate activities to help engage your children

  • understand your kids’ abilities, interests, and learning styles and plan activities accordingly

    • If you aren’t a crafty family, don’t do crafts.

    • If your family doesn’t like to sing, don’t sing hymns at home. 

  • with multiple age groups, focus on the older kids

Be Intentional

  • make faith a focal point in your life

  • add Catholic décor to your home (crucifixes, pictures of Jesus, Our Lady or the Saints, Scripture passages) so that your family has a visual reminder of your faith around them

  • set up a space as a focal point for family prayer

  • be intentional about discussing your faith when your family is gathered together (such as at the dinner table or in the car)

Set a Time

  • Look at your schedule and see what fits best and then make family devotions part of your family’s rhythm

    • Perhaps it’s every Sunday evening or on Saturday mornings;

    • maybe family devotions happens right before bedtime or around the breakfast table.

  • Find what works best and seek to be consistent.

Have a Plan

  • Your plan doesn’t need to be elaborate, but having an idea of what you’d like to focus on or what you will do during your family devotion time is helpful.

  • Gather any supplies needed ahead of time.

  • Remember however, that though we may have a plan, its OK to let your devotional time go in a different direction.

    • Sometimes the kids will have questions and your conversation may go in a different direction

    • or you might wish to sing a song or read a different passage or do something different than you usually do — that’s okay! 

Make Your Own Family Traditions

  • don't feel like you have to do what other Catholic families do

    • some families like to have parties​

    • some families love crafts

    • others love trying different foods

    • some like big celebrations and others are more low-key

  • carry on meaningful traditions you and your spouse grew up with

  • try incorporating special feast days in your family meals or

  • incorporating a holy pilgrimage into your family vacation

  • however, don't be afraid to change traditions as your family grows

Some Examples of Family Traditions

Blessings: 

  • Blessing of the Home: Whether your domestic church is a house or an apartment, invite a priest to come to bless it, either when you first move in or at any time.

  • Parental Blessings: Parents can trace the Sign of the Cross with their thumb or forefinger on their child’s forehead at any time while asking God to bless him or her.

  • Blessing of Sacramentals: Crucifixes, Bibles, Rosaries, and Religious Medals can be blessed by bringing them to a priest at any time

  • Other Blessings: Blessing prayers can used in the many events of a family's lives

    • marking milestones, such as weddings or the birth or adoption of a child,

    • for celebrating important family rituals, such as birthdays or anniversaries,

    • for offering solace in times of sorrow.

Sacred images and sacramentals: 

  • Holy pictures and crucifixes could be hung throughout the house.

  • A holy-water font can be placed by the front door in order to bless oneself with holy water and remind you of your baptism.

  • Holy water could be regularly sprinkled throughout the home.

Devotions: 

  • Praying the Rosary (or part of a Rosary) is a popular devotion for many Catholic families

  • Wearing the brown scapular is a devotion whereby the person places himself or herself under the protection of the Blessed Mother.

  • Praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet

  • Praying Novenas - prayers said for a particular intention for nine consecutive days

  • Praying the Stations of the Cross

  • Eucharistic Adoration - praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament

Celebrate name days: 

  • Celebrate your family’s name days, which are the days dedicated to each person’s patron saint.

Follow the liturgical year: 

  • Families can decorate their home according to the various liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Ordinary Time - each season uses a particular colour 

  • There are special Feast days the Church celebrates throughout the year - decide which ones you would like to focus on and make a plan to mark the Feast day within your family home