At the request of readers, I'm rounding up my favorite posts on Holy Week and Triduum. For wherever you are and wherever God may meet you this week...blessings on all of it, the mess and the joy. If you're expecting: Labor's Stages: A Triduum. If you have a new baby: Baby's First Holy Week. If you're a new parent, missing Triduum services for the first time: Wholly Weak (Or A Sick Mother's Reflections on Expectations). If you have little ones and can't make it to church: A Holy Week at Home. If you're busy preparing: The Forgotten Days of Holy Week. If you're burnt out: The Footwashing. If the weather (or world) doesn't look the way you hoped: Holy Snow. If you're gearing up to wrangle kids for many hours in the pews: Gospel, Interrupted. If you have a child with special needs: Where I Saw Christ, Back Row, Pink Coat. If you or your kids are sick and you're stuck at home: What An Upside-Down Holy Week Taught Me About Jesus. If you're grieving: Was It A … [Read more...] about how to Holy Week: a guide for where you are
Every year I struggle with Easter. Sounds strange, I know. But after the long, intentional season of Lent, I always find myself floundering with what comes next. How do you celebrate well for seven weeks? Easter Sunday? Simple. Church, feast, family, chocolate. Kids going bonkers for baskets. All of us scarfing down too much sugar. Delightful and delicious. All the Alleluias! But then comes Easter Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. Fifty full days of the Easter season. I'll be honest: I had no idea how to live it. Surprisingly, joy is hard to sustain. Easter should be a season of celebration, a long feast of gratitude, an abundance of praise. But how can we keep singing Alleluias for weeks, when the rest of the world packs up the Easter eggs and races ahead to the next holiday-of-the-month in the Target aisles? What does it mean to be an Easter people for 50 full days? I wanted to find out. After years of grief, I felt a tug last year to turn to the practice of … [Read more...] about introducing Risen: 50 Ways to Live Easter
Attention, taken to its highest degree, is the same thing as prayer. It presupposes faith and love. Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer. - Simone Weil Look, mama, look, do you see? A thousand times a day, tugging at my sleeve, calling out in the rearview mirror, yelling from upstairs, downstairs, around the corner, from the other room - look! Come quick! You have to see this! You have to see! Witness is part of parenthood. We watch a child becoming before our eyes. Awakening to the world at first. Alert for longer stretches each week, searching around the room with brand-new, blinking eyes. We watch and wonder: how did we help create this creation? We watch for the baby to smile, to laugh, to coo. Then to move, to roll, to crawl, to creep, to stand, to cruise, to totter, then triumphantly to walk. We clap and coax, we capture on camera: the marvel of witness. But swiftly the tide turns. When words meet movement, we must change, too. Now we are not simply the passive witness … [Read more...] about look, mama, look – do you see?
I recently presented at the Calvin Symposium on Worship on children and worship, faith formation across the lifespan, and work as vocation. Since the audience for the Symposium is primarily Protestant, I asked Mothering Spirit readers on Facebook to share how their church welcomes children. They sent photos and descriptions of every model of welcoming children that we debated within the ecumenical conference (e.g., Sunday school, nursery/cry room, children's message, family service, quiet bags, children's bulletin/missal, etc.). As a Catholic, I believe children are part of the Body of Christ who belong in Mass. Below is an excerpt from what I shared at the Symposium. How might it inspire or challenge you to reflect on how you worship with children - whether at church on Sunday morning or at home during the week? Be sure to check out my new resource pages for church ministers and parents, too! Why welcome children within churches? “People were bringing little children to him in … [Read more...] about how do children worship best?