The first Sunday after Christmas, the Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Family. The Holy Family is the name given to the family unit of Jesus, the Divine Son of God, his mother the Virgin Mary, and his foster-father Joseph.
We know very little about the life of the Holy Family. The Gospels speak of just a few important events in the early years of the Holy Family, including the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, the Presentation of Jesus in the temple, the flight into Egypt, and the finding of Jesus in the temple.
The Feast of the Holy Family is not just about the Holy Family, but about our own families too. The main purpose of the Feast is to present the Holy Family as the model for all Christian families, and for domestic life in general. Our family life becomes sanctified (made holy) when we live the life of the Church within our homes. This is called the "domestic church" or the "church in miniature." St. John Chrysostom urged all Christians to make each home a "family church," and in doing so, this sanctifies the family unit.
Just how does one live out the Church in the family? The best way is by making Christ the center of family and individual life. Ways to do this include: reading scripture regularly, praying daily, attending Mass at least on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, imitating the actions of the Holy Family, going to confession frequently, and so forth, all done together as a family unit.
The Holy Family feast is a good time to remember the family unit and pray for our human and spiritual families. We also may take this feast to reflect on the value and sanctity of the family unit, and to evaluate our own family life. What ways may it be improved? What would Jesus, Mary, and Joseph do? Finally, we can use this feast to ask ourselves what are we doing to promote the family within our own cultures, neighborhoods, and communities.
Short Powerful Prayer to the Holy Family
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I love you! Save souls!
This a little prayer that comes to us by way of private revelation from Our Lord to Sister Maria Consolata Betrone. He told her that one prayer would repair 1,000 blasphemies.
A Prayer for the Family
Jesus, our most loving redeemer, You came to enlighten the world with your teaching and example. You willed to spend the greater part of Your life in humble obedience to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth. In this way, You sanctified that family, which was to be an example for all Christian families.
Graciously accept our family, which we dedicate and consecrate to You this day. Be pleased to protect, guard, and keep it in holy fear, in peace, and in the harmony of Christian charity. By conforming ourselves to the Divine model of Your family, may we attain to eternal happiness.
Traditions and Customs to celebrate and remember the Feast of the Holy Family
Gathering together with your family
Praying as a family
Cooking a meal together
Beginning/ending correspondence with "JMJ," (Jesus, Mary, & Joseph)
The Holy Family - the nativity scene explained (5:41 min.)
Storytime with the Sisters: Joseph: Guardian of the Holy Family
The Holy Family song (2:03 min.)
Holy Family colouring pages to print
Holy Family crafts