Tuesday, October 28, 2008

the family that prays together...


...well, you know. We're in the early, experimental phases, but it's going very well, so I need to share the idea of a family rosary. I've heard other people mention it, but communal prayer at home other than at meals or bedtime just really was a foreign concept to me. Sorry, but just wasn't raised that way. Anyhow, to celebrate October as the month of the Holy Rosary, I started having my second grade religion students pray a decade each time we met. They loved it, and were so enthusiastic about it, that a little lightbulb went off, and I had to bring the idea home. I started with just a decade the first couple days with the younger kids while John was at work. (For some reason, I expected it to go terribly and was a little afraid of failure in front of John.) Silly, I know! Anyhow, the kids loved it at home too, and asked about doing it again. I checked a few Catholic websites for tips about praying a family rosary with young kids, and this is what seems to be working for us so far. At the kids usual bedtime, I mention that we're going to pray a rosary, and whoever would like to stay up the extra 15-20 minutes may do so. (this makes praying together a treat) So far everyone's all for it. I usually put the youngest to bed after the first decade...when they're starting to show signs of breaking...and Dad and the others continue on, and I join in after just a few missed Hail Marys. We take turns leading the prayers, so that the kids are very involved, and on their toes waiting for their next chance. And for the young ones who still stumble over some of the words, we help them along. They're learning so fast! Today I picked up some simple "How to pray the rosary" pamphlets that include pictures of each of the mysteries, which I'm hoping will help us all to better focus and meditate as we pray the words. In talking about how things went afterwards, John mentioned that he had thought about suggesting this years ago, but was embarassed. And as terrible as it sounds, I may not have been as open to the idea a few years ago either. We all come to things in our own time, by the grace and movement of the Spirit. I'm so grateful that this came to our home now, while our children are so young. I pray that we continue to make time for the rosary, and devotion to our Blessed Mother. What a gift for our children, I think. I encourage you all to try it, especially if you've thought about it but are procrastinating for whatever reason. Just do it!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

As you have said many times...funny how quickly God works sometimes. After a very stressful day at work earlier this week, I prayed a rosary on my drive home and was stumbling over the mysteries. What the proper wording was, when they should be prayed, even what groups there were. I was a little embarassed that as an adult I couldn't grasp all of this any more. I thought to myself I need to look up the mysteries so I know what I'm doing and then start getting the kids involved to pray a rosary even once a week as a family. Low and behold, my second grader came home from religion class on Tuesday with a rosary pamphlet showing everything I had questions on...Thank you, thank you!

wife, mother and so much more! said...

When your kids get older you and John will be able to quiz them about what mystery they're on.
I have to say, we only recite 5"Hail Mary's" that's about all of the attention span we have around here. ;)

Barb said...

We did this when our kids were little too. We would light a votive candle and the youngest would usually fall asleep during it, but I always thought it was awesome that they were able to drift off to sleep to the sound of the family praying. When we adopted John (he was almost 2 and had attachment disorder), this was the way I used to help us attach to each other. At first, he didn't want me to hold him, but gradually he got used to it and would settle and fall asleep on my lap. Good memories, indeed.
Hope you have a blessed day and I love the Halloween costumes...they all look adorable!

CatholicMom said...

Hi.. Stumbled on your blog tonight and it is lovely! You have an amazing family. Thanks for sharing everybody with us. We struggle to do our family Rosary, and have found that one or two decades, right after dinner (sometimes before desert) works very well. I like your idea about letting the kids "stay up late" if they want to participate, that is genius!