When I was young I was given a beautiful prayer book when I made my first holy communion. I still have it with my mother’s inscription inside. I eagerly grasped it and read prayers from inside; there were so many! The trouble is this didn’t turn into a prayerful life, possibly because there where too many.
I remember my mother telling me when there were feast days – and she was a very faithful, devoted Catholic. Still is to this day. Sadly though, despite my always believing, my faith life diminished as time passed. Why was that?
I think it was because that there wasn’t an embedding of the faith in our life. There was my mother’s example, sure, but as society became more secular this wasn’t sufficient to ensure that it stuck.
I’m not putting the responsibility for this on my mother, it was I who wandered away from the faith. It’s just I’m aware of the society she grew up in, that it was radically different from the one I grew up in and the rate of change seems to be increasing more and more rapidly. I’m sure that the way she taught me was how the faith was handed down to her, but it was already not enough for me in my youth. I have to do something drastically different!
This is a central reason for this blog; to ensure that we don’t leave the faith at the church door, but that it permeates our life. I hope that these children’s prayer books help me and you to do this.
The idea is that having a prayer book that the children have contributed to, given to them bit by bit on significant days, will make these prayers more accessible and our children will have ownership of them. I’m starting with the major advent feasts, with Christmas itself and then throughout the year the Holy Days of obligation as well as other significant feasts.
Each time there’s a feast I will publish a short post which will have a free printout that will include a prayer for the upcoming feast as well as a section for your children to colour and decorate.
Then they can put that in their own prayer book.
I just bought a little A5 style photo album inexpensively from the discount store. My girls have decorated theirs, and little by little they will be adding their prayers.
Here are the prayer books…
Here they are proudly showing them off…
We live in France and I’ve found it very difficult to teach them how to follow and join in with the liturgy when I don’t know it myself. Most children’s missals I’ve found don’t have the mass in any depth, probably expecting parents to fill in the gaps. So I’ve taken the order of mass from my missal and made print outs to put in theirs.
It’s in French, but if any of you folks want an English version (or if you want this French version) drop me a line in the comments below and I’ll post it for you.
The first post that contains a free printout will be coming soon; so subscribe to get it straight in your inbox. If you fancy following me on twitter, instagram or Pinterest you can do so through the social media icons too. I’d love to hear from you, and you’ll always get a follow back. I really want to build a supportive community to encourage each other, but in the meantime…