Family Faith during Covid

This is a time when there has been a shift in the many ways our faith has been formed, nurtured and strengthened. Going to Church, attending Mass, receiving instruction in the faith, participating in sacramental celebrations are suspended for the time being. However, our faith can continue to grow and be appreciated within family life. It may be challenging, but it is possible. Gather as a family and consider how you could possibly implement some of these ideas:

1. Create a Family Prayer Space

Display visible images of faith in a central place in your home. (Bible, crucifix, rosary, other religious symbols family members suggest)

2. Family Prayer

Try to gather daily if possible (time is family decision) Parent can lead (children can also take turns) – Informal Prayer

Loving God, we ask you to be with us today. Keep us safe and healthy. Give us the grace we need to accept the limitations that surround us. Help us to be patient when we can't do what we want or go where we'd rather be. Help us be grateful for what we have, especially for each other. Be with our family members and friends. Bless all those who are sick and those who are caring for them. Help us to do what we can in dealing with this crisis. We ask you to guide those who make decisions for our well-being. Be with those who cannot work, those who have no food and those who worry about many things. Bless us this day! Bless our family & friends! Bless our parish community! Bless our country, our world and all your people!

…. Or Formal Prayer.....simply ask God to be with you, your family and all those in need of His loving care and protection this day. Pray an Our Father and/or Hail Mary. Family members can mention any special intentions.

3. Finding Jesus

During this Easter Season, we hear about Jesus appearing to the disciples in many ways, in many places. They were frightened and uncertain about how they would be able to carry on his mission. As followers of Jesus in the world today, we can open our minds and hearts to discover where, when and how he is present to us….because He is. Perhaps at the end of the day, as your family gathers for supper or around your prayer space, each of you could share some sign of Jesus’ presence you became aware of during the day. It could be an encouraging word spoken, an effort to help, a positive thought, a phone call, a good virtual lesson experienced, a meal or snack prepared…… Be observant, be aware, you can discover Jesus being with you. Try to discover ways you can carry on his mission of love and mercy in today’s world as his disciples.

4. Sunday Mass

Hopefully you are watching Mass together on TV. (Click HERE to see a listing of live-streamed and recorded Masses.) Perhaps before Mass begins, you could gather, focus on the importance of being united in faith with your parish community and being able to attend Mass as a Family via technology. Mention the importance of the Eucharist and making a worthy spiritual communion. You might want to read the Gospel for the day (click HERE to view the USCCB Daily Mass Readings). After the Gospel is read, ask family members to mention a word or phrase that struck you and why. Children can often surprise you when doing this. Also feel free to mention Special Intentions that may be meaningful for your family. Continue to do your best to keep weekly Mass a focal point of your family faith. You may also decide to watch a Mass on a day during the week.

5. Parish Connection

Try to stay connected with your parish as much as you can. Pastors are doing creative things to reach out to parishioners. For example, at Little Flower, email updates are being sent out several times a week and include videos and important information from the archdiocese. (Click HERE to sign up to receive parish emails.) Opportunities are being offered for confessions and the church is open at certain time for visits and prayer. Keep checking the parish website for the latest information. Hopefully someday soon, the church parking lot will no longer be empty, but overflowing on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings.

God bless you all for the efforts you are making to strengthen your faith as a family.

Sister Ann Parker IHM