And suddenly it was Lent. (It seemed sudden to me anyway!)
As usual, I gave up meat. This year, I also took on reading the gospel of Luke with my kids and the rest of the Good Book Club. That has been going well. (Not perfectly… I never said perfectly. But definitely very well.)
— Nurya Love Parish (@nurya) February 20, 2018
As we ponder the meaning of this season it’s a perfect time to reflect on the promises made in baptism. If you or your church want a short and meaningful read on baptism, this essay by Jeremiah Williamson is worth your time.
Liturgical Time in March
This year, March brings us all the way through Lent and into Holy Week. Easter is on April 1st. (Yes, this year Ash Wednesday was Valentine’s Day and Easter is on April Fool’s. There’s a sermon in there somewhere.)
This month’s printable PDF notes that the Annunciation, usually celebrated on March 25, is transferred due to Holy Week and Easter Week. It is transferred all the way to April 9th… so even though you see it on this calendar, it’s actually an April feast day this year. That leaves us one “Red Letter Day” which is the feast of St. Joseph on March 19th.
There are feasts to observe that aren’t marked in red on the printable calendar. The Episcopal Church doesn’t mark St. Patrick’s Day as a major feast officially, but plenty of us observe it as a feast nonetheless. It shows up in the middle of March. Other memorable saints honored this month are Perpetua and her Companions and Bishop Oscar Romero and the Martyrs of El Salvador. Across the span of centuries, both had a higher allegiance to Christ than to the powers of their day.
Not noted on the printable calendar, because it is a movable observance, are Palm Sunday (March 25) and Holy Week. Keep reading for more ideas about these observances.
Since we’re in Lent for most of March, our archive for Lent is right here.
If your first Lenten observance has fallen by the wayside, you can begin another one. Or you can begin again with the one you selected at the beginning. There is no season better than Lent to remember the grace God offers when we truly seek to put God first.
Honoring St. Patrick on Saturday, March 17th
It wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s day in our house without the traditional viewing of the LutheranSatire video on the Trinity. It’s a great video for kids to understand the meaning of the Trinity and the concept of heresy. My kids enjoyed it starting in upper elementary and middle school.
It’s great to have this viewing as an annual ritual because I think my kids understand these concepts a little bit more every year!
Honoring St. Joseph on Monday, March 19th
Palm Sunday & Holy Week
As you look ahead to Holy Week, it’s worth planning to worship with your kids at church on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday as well as Easter Sunday. The whole story of these sacred days unfolds over time. Even if you were raised in an “Easter only” family, you can create a “Holy Week” family for yourself.
Heather Sleightholm writes about beginning new traditions in her family at Holy Week…
And Allison Sandlin Liles has a great post about keeping Holy Week at home with two young children. It involves Legos, the Bible, and questions for reflection.
If you want specific guidance about taking kids to worship on Good Friday, that’s right here.
Getting ready for Easter
Holy Week leads right up to Easter, and in many families that means an Easter basket. You can fill that basket with stories of faith as well as candy and eggs! Regina Walton’s post on “Making Room in the Basket for the Easter Story” has ideas for children’s books for all ages.
And if you want ideas for Easter beyond the basket, consider making your home an expression of Easter joy.
March on Grow Christians
March is a month full of transitions… spring begins, Lent ends. May it be a time of growing faith for you and for your family. You’re always welcome to write for us about how that works in your own life, and we’ll keep bringing you stories about how it works for others in the thick of things.
What do you hope March holds for you?