Happy August, month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary! There are quite a few Marian feast days this month, including today's historic feast of Our Lady, Queen of Angels (August 2nd), the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary on August 15th (a holyday of obligation), and the feast of the Queenship of Mary on the 22nd.
So many chances to celebrate! Now, the VAST majority of my family's liturgical living is food related. For most feast days, I look for a food that's traditionally associated with the day (waffles for the Annunciation), or find a recipe from a particular saint's home country (polish sausage and sauerkraut for the feast of St. JPII), or just try to come up with a silly food pun (St. Thomas S'Mores). But that's just because I was going to be making dinner anyway, and I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen.
In case anyone is wondering, the cooking plan for the Assumption (which is traditionally associated with the blessing of herbs) is herb-roasted chicken (this can also be cooked outside on the grill, and really any type of meat, grilled with an herb butter crust is perfect) and watermelon salad with fresh herbs.
However. Liturgical living doesn't HAVE to be cooking-related. Liturgical living in the home is really all about just being aware that it's a particular feast day and doing something, ANYTHING, to make it a part of your day. Could be a special prayer, or a song, or a book, or an outing, or a restaurant, or takeout, or a craft, or a coloring page. Whatever you might have been doing anyway.
A few things on that list don't happen on a regular basis in my house, which is why I focus on meals, but I love that liturgical living is so easily adaptable to individual circumstances and preferences. Don't like cooking? Not a problem.
So today, I want to share a tradition I love for any of the EIGHTEEN Marian feast days on the universal calendar. It requires no special skills, no preparation, and no equipment, yet it's fun and meaningful and memorable . . . it's the At Home Marian Procession!
Check out the video here
This can be done indoors or out, at home or at a school, with a group or on your own. All you need is something to sing, something to carry, and someplace to go.
We like Ave Maria, or the Hail Holy Queen Hymn.
We like to use small statues of Mary that we have collected in our travels, along with some kid-friendly Marys for the littlest kids. You could also use one or more pictures of Mary, or candles (drip protectors help), or a drawing of a Marian symbol as a banner, or a mix of a few different things!
We prefer to come out the front door, make a lap around the front yard, and end up at our larger garden Mary statue. But you could also process around the inside or outside of your home or around the neighborhood! You can end at any image of Mary or Jesus, or just end where you began.
Once we are at our ending point, we recite the Litany of Loreto. Litanies are always fun in a group, especially with kids. So fun to shout the responses.
Get the Catholic August booklet, featuring the Litany of Loreto and the Hail Holy Queen Hymn here as a digital download.
The Catholic All Year Compendium is available here, or wherever books are sold.
My First Pictures of Mary (ages 0-3) available here. A sweet board book, good for reading aloud, with lots of great little pictures for pointing, or for babies and toddlers to flip through by themselves.
My Picture Book of the Catholic Faith (ages 3-8) available here. An amazingly thorough little starter catechism perfect for little kids. It touches on stories from the Old and New Testaments, prayer, the Church, the sacraments, works of mercy, and the liturgical year. The pages are really thick and sturdy. This book is built to withstand kids.
Mary Stories from the Bible (ages 5-12) available here. Beautifully illustrated, and nice for reading together, or for grade schoolers to read alone, this book tells stories from the life of Mary, some from the Bible, others from long tradition (like Anne and Joachim's Kiss at the Golden Gate).