I know…I know…we’re in the last week of August and I’m just now putting up pictures of our August Feast Table? Sorry! I really thought the image of Our Lady being assumed into heaven was lovely, though! It illustrates how the addition of silks in a variety of liturgical colors has been a real help in monthly liturgical displays. The green silk on the left indicates that we find ourselves liturgically still within the Green Meadow (Around the Year with the Von Trapp Family), which is to say, Ordinary Time. But, doesn’t the Green Meadow sound lovelier?
Why bother with these monthly displays?
A few people have asked why in the world do I bother with a monthly Feast Table display??
**Isn’t that a whole lot of work?? Why bother?? We’re already using a great religious education program. Why do you bother with this??**Holy Mother Church has long used images to convey theology to her children. Catholic churches of the Middle Ages were designed so thoughtfully that every niche, every column, every architectural feature was used to convey the Truths of the Church. Stained glass windows were placed generously throughout the Church and often told entire stories of Salvation History through one beautiful pane of meticulously designed glass. Everything about a church was so attentively planned as to articulate through images and symbols the Truths of the Church.
These images and symbols, never meaning to be the point of worship in the Church, were there to assist in lifting the heart and the mind to prayer and to teach the faithful. All of the symbols, artwork, statuary, and visual imagery served to point towards Our Lord, much as Our Lady always does, in repose in the Tabernacle of the Church. The Feast Table in our home, the domestic church, is my continuation of this wise practice of Holy Mother Church’s.
These monthly displays are visual reminders of the Church Year. They are usually fairly simple, but they have a wonderful impact on living and connecting with the seasons of the Church year. The children are a part of these displays, assisting me in setting them up. We’ve spent years collecting materials that can be used as part of these displays, but find that the simplest choices and displays are often the best!
Whether you choose to set up a small liturgical display in the middle of your kitchen table, on a shelf, or on a special table, this way of connecting to, and living out the rhythm of the liturgical year, is one that is sure to bless your family!
The August Feast Table:
August is the month of The Immaculate Heart, so she is featured prominently. There are so many feasts during this month and one Solemnity. I chose to focus on the Solemnity of Our Lady’s Assumption for our display this month.
In the display you can see Our Lady ascending to heaven. The white silk links the image of the most Holy Trinity to Our Lady and further drapes toward us, in the vale of tears. Our Lady, so joyful to be reunited with her Son, remains our Mother and continues to protect us. Our way to heaven is made easier and gentler by following Our Lady – she always points us to her Son, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Her mantle (the blue silk) drapes over the entire world (which is slightly askew thanks to the orbital adjustment given by Peanut).
Silks in your liturgical displays:
If you’re interested in adding some colorful silks to your liturgical displays, consider dyeing your own! My friend Mary offered a very helpful tutorial for dyeing your own silks. If you’re not up to dyeing your own, I highly recommend Sarah’s Silks!
We chose a silk in one of each of the liturgical colors as well as white and light blue (for Our Lady). These are such a great addition – they’re played with all the time – and they are featured on the Feast Table monthly!
Year for the Priest Activity:
Our diocesan paper published a listing of every priest within the diocese along with a weekly assignment for each priest. Our bishop asked us to pray for the priest assigned to that week. I wanted to incorporate this idea in our family Feast Table.
I printed up all the names of the priests along with their weekly assignment on cardstock and cut them apart so that there would be an individual name card for each priest. Using double sided sticky tape we afix the card to our own Father Oak’s chasuble. Father Oak is a wonderful assistant during this Year of the Priest, reminding us to pray for our priests! Each evening the children take turns reading St. Therese’s prayer for priests for the priest of the week.
You can find many other wonderful ideas for The Year for Priests :
** The Spiritual Motherhood For Priests
** Rachel Watkins at Ecce Homo Press offers a free downloadable document for celebrating the Year for Priests at her website.
** You can receive a Plenary Indulgence in this Year for Priests as well!