There always seems to be a theme to each school year, at least in my experience there does. This year’s theme is liturgy. I have explained this term before. I have always associated liturgy with thoughtless words uttered with no connection whatsoever with my heart nor my soul. To me, liturgy sucked the joy out of worship. I have wrote about this before but my views on this are a-changing.
In all of my reading and listening (to audio talks and podcasts,) I am seeing that liturgy is habit, practices, routine, rhythm. I have always thought these things were all good and have tried to instill them into our family life. It never occurred to me that I was instilling liturgy as well.
James K.A. Smith says that the most power comes from the little things; little things done consistently. After listening to Jenny Rallens’ talk on teaching liturgy I have incorporated liturgy, little things, into our daily rhythm. We have been doing these things for 5 weeks now and I can see the truth in what Smith says. There is a soothing in doing these little things daily. They are anchor to our day and may I go so far as to say to our souls as well?
I would like to share the liturgy that have become a mainstay of our learning time. Some of these practises have been copied from Jenny Rallens’ talk, others are ones that I have come up with on my own.
Every morning we meet in the living room. I stand up and all three children fall into line in front of me. I hug each one, greet them with a ‘good morning’ and then I bless them and pray for them. This, in and of itself, sets our day off on a good foot. We, then, recite the Lord’s Prayer (next month we will start on the Apostle’s Creed) and work on our memory work. Presently we are working on memorizing Romans 8:31–38. Morning Time proceeds recitation.
After lunch we gather together again in the living room. This is the kids’ favourite time of the day. Each of us shares an experience we have had in the last 24 hours; an experience that we are thankful for. I then call for confession. If anyone has a need to confess something to someone in the room then this is the time to do so. The person is to confess and then ask for forgiveness of the person or persons he has offended. Forgiveness is then given to the confessor. This simple act has been the most powerful within the relationships of my children. There is a calmness between them that wasn’t there before. Next comes question time. Each day we ask questions of one person. The person who answers the questions rotate. These questions can be personal or generic.
Now comes my children’s favourite part: Memory time. Each of us tells the others a memory they have of their past. I want to give this a full blog post but, for now, suffice it to say that I have been shown the power of story. I want to share the story of my past with my children. In sharing my past, through my memories, they have been given the desire to share their own memories. We have great fun with this.
After school, we meet together again to sing the doxology. I, then, hug each child and whisper,’The Lord be with you’ to which they reply, “And also with you.’ I have to admit though, that the end of the day liturgy isn’t as consistent as the other liturgies but I am working on that.
These are our daily liturgies, practises, rhythms. On another post, I would like to share our experience liturgies. These are just as powerful as the practises shared above.