Catholic All Year has been around for (almost) a decade. In that time, I've shared hundreds of liturgical living and feast celebration ideas, liturgical wall calendars, dozens of prayer booklets for you to print, over a year of physical boxes with feast materials, and written an entire book on liturgical living (two, actually)!
With all of the resources Catholic All Year offers, I still encourage families who feel overwhelmed by the idea of framing their schedules around the Church's feasting and fasting to do one simple thing first:
Acquire a liturgical year wall calendar.
Why should all Catholic families have a liturgical calendar in their home?
Sure, that 2022 puppy calendar hanging next to the fridge is cute . . . but does it include recommended days of abstinence from meat?
Having a liturgical calendar on the wall was an important first step for me in making liturgical living a part of our home life. I couldn't celebrate feast days until I knew what and when they were!
A wall calendar is an easy visual way to bring liturgical living into your home. You can keep track of the feasts and fasts and seasons of the Catholic year, and be reminded to focus your prayer on a different aspect of our faith each month.
What should a great liturgical wall calendar have included?
The Catholic All Year Wall Calendar (on sale for 50% + buy one get one free starting yesterday!) features all the feasts and fasts of the Universal Calendar and then some, illustrated with inspirational Catholic quotes and art.
Most liturgical calendars include the feasts of the universal calendar and, ya know, the dates of the month.
On the CAY Calendar, you'll find all of those basics plus other popular (and obscure) feast days including every feast mentioned in The Catholic All Year Compendium, plus liturgical seasons, days of fasting and abstinence, and Meat Fridays! There's also a symbol on the calendar for feast days covered in The Compendium (and in The Prayer Companion) so you'll know when to grab those off the shelf.
Where to start with liturgical living?
I actually just shared a post and a video all about this: How to Start Liturgical Living in the Home!
As for how to start following the liturgical calendar, I recommend starting with what I like to call the 'Three Special Days". These are a birthday, saint's nameday, and baptism anniversary for each person in your family. Add those dates to your wall calendar so you can plan ahead to celebrate those days with a special meal.
Next, I recommend looking for the solemnities on the universal calendar. There are twenty-three solemnities on the U.S. calendar. That averages out to just a couple days per month. Many of them fall on a Sunday, or are days you're probably already celebrating (like Christmas). These are celebrations of the most important people, events, and mysteries of our long faith tradition. You'll find them marked in all caps on the Catholic All Year calendar, and all have celebration ideas in The Compendium.
Check out The Compendium and various blog posts here to learn about our family’s traditions, and/or create some of your own, that your kids can look forward to each year. Definitely get to Mass if the solemnity is also a holyday of obligation. Try to get to Mass even if it isn’t required.
If that's as far as your wall calendar ever gets you, you'll already be a liturgical living champ! But if you're like me, you might find yourself incorporating special food or activities for other saints and feast days throughout the year as well.
Learn how it all went down for me in the aforementioned video!
Some of My Favorite Liturgical Calendars to Consider Hanging on Your Wall
1. The Catholic All Year Wall Calendar (BOGO + 50% off 2022 Wall Calendars while supplies last!)
2. Those 100% free calendars in the narthex of your parish
6. There's also the Medallion Calendar included in the CAY Membership!
I don't have time to go into all of the fabulous Catholic resources available in the membership! (Recipes, posters, prayer booklets, discounts . . . ) For now, just know that the monthly membership includes a colorful 2.5 inch medallion for each day of the month, featuring a symbol associated with the day and a description of the saint or feast day. This medallion calendar in conjunction with a wall calendar helps your family learn about Bible and Church history and the lives of the saints and the Holy Family wherever they are!
I recommend posting a wall calendar somewhere you'll see it every morning and the bigger medallion calendar where your kids will--in a homeschool room or on a pantry door!
TLDR: the best Catholic liturgical calendar is the one your family will actually use
Whether it is the lovely Catholic All Year Wall Calendar or a plain black and white pdf, list-style one--the goal for liturgical living isn't to do it perfectly or Instagram-style. It's to actually do it.
So go get yourself a calendar and read this post here to learn more about what's even on it! Solemnities are NOT for Being Solemn: What They Are, Why They Matter.