Baby Steps to Living Liturgically in Your Home or Classroom

Living liturgically is a concept I became more familiar with over the past few years. I knew that the Catholic church had a liturgical calendar, but I didn't fully understand what living liturgically meant. Simply put, it is celebrating important days in the Church (feast days, holidays, Holy Days of Obligation, seasons, etc.) the same way we celebrate birthdays, Halloween, or the 4th of July. 

Living liturgically can seem overwhelming. There are SO MANY days to celebrate, how do you do it all? The short answer is, you don't! I'm going to give you some ideas that will help you take baby steps into living liturgically. These could work at home in your domestic church or even in a Catholic classroom.
Ideas for how to start living liturgically in your Catholic home without being overwhelmed. Plus a freebie for a way to start celebrating each month.

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Celebrate the Saints

An easy way to engage children in our Catholic faith is through the saints. They love hearing their stories and there are so many resources out there geared toward kids.

When we started celebrating certain saints' feast days, we picked saints we liked or saints we knew we had the resources to celebrate them. 

Over the past year, we celebrated Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12), St. Patrick (March 17), St. Therese of Lisieux (October 1), All Saints Day (November 1), and St. Nicholas (December 6.) 

For some of the feast days, I set up our table with the saint if we had a peg doll or a sew a saint for it and something to represent them - roses, shamrock plant, etc. I also set out any book we had related to that saint. Sometimes I wrote a to do list on the table of things we were going to do to celebrate and learn about the saint. Sometimes I asked them to write facts that they learned on the paper on the table. If there was an easy to make food that related to that saint, I would include that too. 

Here is more details on how we celebrated the above mentioned saints:

Celebrate St. Therese with Baby Steps to Living Liturgically

St. Therese - we made cupcakes and because she said she would shower us with roses from heaven, we made roses for the tops of the cupcakes out of fruit roll ups. We also decorated with roses. Our process was similar to this version only with fruit rollups instead of fruit by the foot.

Celebrate St. Patrick with Baby Steps to Living Liturgically

St. Patrick - we used cinnamon rolls out of the tube to make shamrocks and then added some green to the frosting. We also ate food in the color of the Irish flag. We read a book, wrote facts we learned and watched a quick video.

Celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe with Baby Steps to Living Liturgically

Our Lady of Guadalupe - we bought these cookie cutters and made and "painted" cookies. These took some time and the cookie cutter can be time consuming as there are so many details, but the girls had a lot of fun. This is another time when we used roses to decorate because Juan Diego had roses in his tilma as a sign to the bishop that Mary was truly appearing to him.

Celebrate All Saints Day with Baby Steps to Living Liturgically

For All Saints' Day, we print out a banner of saints to decorate the mantle. We also use our peg saints and sew a saint dolls to decorate. Last year I got the girls saint t-shirts from pycnocline on Etsy and got myself one of the saint litany shirts from Brickhouse in the City. This year they each got a new puzzle related to different saints. I found them at Fiat to Halo, Saintly Heart and Shining Light Dolls. In this post you can find some of our favorite saint books that we set out that include multiple saints in one book. 

Celebrate St. Nicholas with Baby Steps to Living Liturgically

St. Nicholas - we set out shoes that I filled with chocolate covered coins. We had new Christmas jammies for each of the girls, saint peg dolls, St. Nicholas key chains, a plastic saint doll for the little one, and a box of Golden Grahams to eat to go with the gold coin theme. We also hung up a banner and set out a book

I know some of this can start to feel overwhelming. Again, it doesn't have to be. The St. Therese activities I saw as I was scrolling through social media THAT DAY and ran to the grocery store to get supplies for cupcakes. It wasn't a planned thing, it just happened. Keep it simple and don't think of it as an all day celebration. What are one or two activities you could do to teach your children about the saints and draw them closer to Jesus?
Use a Catholic Saints coloring book to celebrate saints and take Baby Steps to Living Liturgically

Since we are homeschooling this year, I'm trying to add smaller ways to celebrate the saints. I've printed out my Catholic Saints Coloring Book for each of my girls and we put them in order by feast day. On their feast day we read about the saint and if we can find a short video on YouTube, EWTN, or FORMED we will watch that. Super simple, not really a celebration, but just an easy way to introduce the girls to more saints.

Use Your Children as a Starting Point

Was your child named after a saint or do they have a favorite or patron saint? Then start by celebrating those feast days. Children are definitely more engaged if it is a saint they have a connection with. 
Celebrate your child's Baptism and start taking baby steps to living liturgically

Another way to celebrate your children is to remember their Baptism Anniversaries each year. For me this means writing it on the calendar each year. I'd love to tell you I remember those dates but it is all I can do to remember birthdays. The celebration can be as big or as small as you want. Bring out pictures and videos and talk about that day. My 2nd born loves to hear the story about how she screamed through the whole thing. 

We also have special plates that my mom bought each of the girls for their Baptism. It is hand painted and has their name and the date on it. On the anniversary of their Baptism, they are allowed to use the special plate to eat their meals off of. Just something a little different than our normal plastic kid plates!

Celebrate at Your Church 

Another easy way to incorporate liturgical celebrations is to follow along with what your parish does. Depending on the name of your church and your congregations' population, you might have certain saints that are celebrated. Maybe there are statues or artwork that you can explore. Maybe they celebrate certain traditions. Participate in these as a lot of the work has been done for you. After, talk to your children about the celebration and why it is significant to your parish.

Also, go to Mass on the Holy Days of Obligation and each Sunday. Not only are we obligated to do this, but it is teaching your child that this is a priority and that these days are special and we celebrate at church. 

Sunday Readings

Related to going to Mass each week is reading the Sunday readings as a family. We started doing this in 2020 with the help of a resource called 52 Sundays that our Archdiocese put out. It includes the readings, discussion questions, saint to learn about, family fun activities related to the reading, a recipe and a family prayer. It has been so helpful to our family! We also have the girls draw a picture as they listen to the readings and we are making our own "book" of all the drawings. This just helps them to understand it better on their level. 
Read the Sunday Gospels and start taking baby steps to living liturgically

Even without the 52 Sundays book or emails, you can still pull up the readings either before or after Mass and spend time reading and talking about them as a family.

Another super helpful resource is the book Through the Year with Jesus: Gospel Readings and Reflections for Children. This would be great at home or in a school setting. There is a reading for each week organized by the liturgical calendar. It doesn't include all of the cycles so some year it might not match what you hear at Mass, but there are other readings you could use that week. It includes the passage, reflection, questions, lectio divina prompts, sacred art and so much more.

Just start small

As I'm just learning and getting into bringing more liturgical celebrations into our home, my best advice is to not get overwhelmed. Start small. Pick a few things that you want to celebrate and plan ahead. Mark them on the calendar so you don't forget. Then next year, add a few more.

It doesn't have to be an over the top celebration (unless that is your jam), but just a chance to learn about why that day is important in our faith.

Resources to Help

Draw the Catholic saints

Catholic Icing is an amazing resource. Lacy is passionate about liturgical living and gives so many ideas for how to celebrate all year long. She is actually a big part of how I started incorporating more into our home. She had a Facebook group (it no longer exists) all about this and there were so many ideas for how different people celebrated different feast days. There were some I had never even heard of as a cradle Catholic! It definitely inspired me to learn more and do more. She also has a great YouTube channel where she does different Catholic directed drawings like the December Saints one my girls tried in the picture above.

Jared Dees from The Religion has lots of information on his site but he also does these quick videos on his Facebook page that help explain certain holidays, Holy Days, feast days, etc and the meaning behing them.

Make Every Day Blessed

Jen Frost wrote a book all about this topic called Make Every Day Blessed. You can read my full review of her book here, but it is a great way to get started because she makes it very manageable, plus you can journal in the book and pray as you read it so it is very interactive.
Blessed is She liturgical planner

There are also several planners out there that are designed for the Catholic liturgical year. For the past few years I've used the Blessed is She planner. They have a few different options depending on when you want your planner to start and sizes but in all the options you get feast days already written in your calendar (not every one but many of them), color coding so you know what liturgical season it is, prayers, Holy Days of Obligations, when to start certain novenas, prayers, etc. It is a great way to have some of these important days right at your fingertips and already in your calendar.

We were gifted Through the Year with Tomie dePaola for Christmas and it is a liturgical living gem. It gives different feast days and holidays (in order) and has illustrations for them. Just quick little blurbs about the saints or the feast days. We've been keeping it near the dinner table and we check it each night before dinner to see if there is a saint or special day we can read about.

Baby Steps to Living Liturgically FREE GUIDE

I wanted to make this process even easier for you. So I made a free pdf with clickable links that you can download. I picked one day each month for you to celebrate - a saint feast day, a Holy Day, a celebration, etc and gave ideas for resources you could use, books, videos and simple activities you can do to celebrate. It is a jumping off point for you to get your toes wet without getting overwhelmed and then from there you can add on.
Ideas for how to start living liturgically in your Catholic home without being overwhelmed. Plus a freebie for a way to start celebrating each month.

Do you want a free copy of the Baby Steps to Living Liturgically Guide? Just enter your information in the form below and check your email. It should be waiting there for you. If you have any questions about getting your free printable, check out our FAQs here.

Ready to dig a little deeper?

Are you ready to give Liturgical Living a try or maybe want more than just one focus each month? I've got you covered with a simplified way to make liturgical living come alive in your home or classroom. 
Check out my monthly printables. We still stay simple and just focus on a few days to focus on for the month, but I include ready to print ideas for the days included. This makes it easy to just print and go. 

You can find out more of what is included each month in my post Easy Liturgical Living for the Home and Classroom. 
Liturgical living simple ideas for the year

You can find the Liturgical Living Bundle HERE that includes each month plus a Lent/Easter resource.