I have a dream that one day I will actually do the lovely things I suggest for practicing faith at home. I’m a new ministry developer also serving a church and parenting two teenagers. I have high ideals and trouble with multiple priorities. As I write the “Planning Ahead” series, I always plan to do at least one of the practices suggested for the coming month. But in September I found myself on a plane on Holy Cross Day. I looked for Michaelmas daisies on Michaelmas (and didn’t find them). In October I forgot I was going to cook for St. Luke’s feast day until 9pm that evening… a little late to try.
One wonderful thing about the calendar is that a fresh page means a new start. In November, I’ll be away from home for All Saints’ Day, but after that I’ll be with my family for the feast days of late fall. I’m challenging myself to put my faith at home practice further to the top of my list, and I think a little public accountability might help. I notice that we currently have only 10 pictures on Instagram tagged with #growchristians – and I know I have barely contributed any to the common pot. We’ve never called for them! Why would they exist?
I make better progress in community than I do alone. So in November I’m challenging myself to post images that reflect faith at home. I’ll tag them #growchristians, and I invite you to join me. If you’re not on Instagram, post them on Facebook; if you’re not on either, post them in the comments on this page.
Let’s encourage each other in the practice of faith.
Liturgical Time in November
The long green season comes to a close. There are four major feasts in November: All Saints Day, Christ the King, Thanksgiving Day, and St. Andrew’s feast day. Here’s a downloadable single page PDF to keep you on track this year.
Along with the major feasts, November brings us lesser feasts worth celebrating as well. C.S. Lewis, St. Hilda and more are remembered this month. There aren’t huge traditional celebrations associated with these remarkable souls, but that means you can make your own.
Here are some ways to mark the church’s major feasts with your family.
To honor All Saints Day on Wednesday, November 1
Ponder the ways we run the race of faith as you remember the saints of the church.
You could also make some tasty All Saints Cupcakes with this recipe and decoration suggestion from Catholic Cuisine. You could watch the movie “All Saints,” about an Episcopal Church renewed by Burmese refugees and a garden ministry, or read the book on which the movie is based.
To celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 23rd
If you’re an American reader you likely have family traditions for Thanksgiving already!
If your family traditions don’t include offering a prayer before the feast, here’s a PDF of the Collect for Thanksgiving that you can print out and bring to the table.
To honor Christ the King on Sunday, November 26
This may be among the most important feasts of the year, especially in this divisive time.
As Marcus Halley writes,
It appears that our world is still fraying along lines of race, class, sex, religion, and nationality. We find it so difficult to speak to people across these and other barriers; we close ourselves off from the God in the other. And yet the Crown of Thorns reminds us that with Christ there is “plenteous redemption.” Through his example we have a way forward together. Division and estrangement need not be our portion.
If you have the time and inclination, a bundt cake can resemble a crown to celebrate this feast at home. Here’s a recipe with pumpkin and spice variations.
To celebrate the feast of St. Andrew on Thursday, November 30
Tell your children the story of St. Andrew’s call. This is a good day to enjoy some goldfish crackers if they are in your family’s comfort zone…
As you enjoy them, consider how Christ called Andrew to move from catching fish to engaging people. What is similar about these two calls? What is different?
This month and next on Grow Christians
Even though it isn’t yet Advent, thinking about Christmas in November is often part of life if you’re raising kids. This is the time to figure out cards, think about gifts, and plan ahead for parties. It’s also often the month for diocesan conventions, stewardship campaigns, and final budget plans. Whew! I know I’m going to need to turn to last month’s Sabbath series again.
This month on Grow Christians I’d love to hear from you about your family’s Advent traditions and also about how you discuss financial stewardship with your kids. Readers are always welcome to write for us; the guidelines are right here.
But I know this is a busy time. If you can’t write for us right now, never fear. If you could just snap a picture of your life practicing faith at home and tag it #growchristians, that would be encouragement enough. It surely would encourage me to stop and live the things I write.
Do you have lofty aspirations about practicing faith at home that are difficult to attain?