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  • Writer's pictureLauren

Liturgical Living for Busy Families in June

Although we're officially entering Ordinary Time on June 1, June is anything but ordinary when you're practicing liturgical living! The Church focuses on devotion to the Sacred Heart during June, and the month is packed with fun feast days. To help with planning, I've rounded up some of my family's favorite liturgical living resources for the month of June into one post. On top of that, I'm also including links to two different at-home Vacation Bible School resources as many dioceses are not hosting Vacation Bible School this year due to the pandemic.

This post includes ideas for the following:

  • June 1 - Mary, Mother of the Church

  • June 3, 5 & 6 - Ember Days

  • June 5 - St. Boniface

  • June 7 - Trinity Sunday

  • June 13 - St. Anthony

  • June 14 - Corpus Christi

  • June 19 - Sacred Heart of Jesus

  • June 20 - Immaculate Heart of Mary

  • June 24 - Nativity of St. John the Baptist

  • June 29 - Sts. Peter and Paul

  • At-Home VBS Resources

Have a feast day or activity idea that I missed? Let me know in the comments! Enjoy!

June 1 - Mary, Mother of the Church

The Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church is a new feast established by Pope Francis in March 2018. This feast emphasizes Mary's role in praying with the disciples in the upper room when the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost. Katherine Bogner at Look to Him and Be Radiant has a lovely free coloring page here, and The Catholic Toolbox has a really cool (also free!) downloadable Mary, Mother of the Church board game here. If you're looking for more fun ideas, Lacy at Catholic Icing has a ton of other craft ideas for celebrating this new feast here.

June 3, 5 & 6 - Ember Days

Ember Days, like their cousin Rogation Days, are optional, recommended days of seasonal fasting and abstinence. Ember Days occur four times a year on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following Ash Wednesday, Pentecost, Exaltation of the Holy Cross, and St. Lucy's Day. Kendra Tierney at Catholic All Year has a great post on the history of Ember Days here. While not required, the freely offered gift of additional penance by the faithful is a beautiful and relatively easy thing we can do for our Church and world. If you're looking for family friendly meatless meal ideas for these days, my family has loved just about everything we've tried from Izzy's vegetarian and vegan blog, She Likes Food.

June 5 - St. Boniface

St. Boniface was an English Benedictine monk who acted as a missionary to pagan Germanic tribes in the early 700s. The most famous story about St. Boniface involves the origin of Christmas trees! According to the story, St. Boniface came upon the Germanic tribes worshiping the Norse god Thor around a huge oak tree on Christmas Eve. St. Boniface declared, "Here is the Thunder Oak; and here the cross of Christ shall break the hammer of the false god Thor!” And with that he chopped down the tree. The locals were apparently so impressed that Thor did not immediately strike St. Boniface dead, that they were immediately convinced the God of St. Boniface was the True God and decided to be baptized. Personally, I think a super unique way to celebrate this feast would be to go chop down a tree, but if that's not feasible (and sadly, I don't have spare trees around my yard), then the Saint Stories for Kids Podcast has a great retelling of this story here. Jenna from Call Her Happy also has a coloring page for St. Boniface in her Growing Bundle option that you can purchase off Etsy here.

June 7 - Trinity Sunday

The Catechism of the Catholic Church in paragraph 234 states:

The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the "hierarchy of the truths of faith". The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men "and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin".

On Trinity Sunday, the Church celebrates the mystery of the Trinity. St. Patrick is famous for allegedly teaching about the Trinity using a three leaf clover, so perhaps search for three leaf clovers in the yard and use the opportunity to talk to your children about the Trinity. If shamrocks in summer aren't your thing, Lacy at Catholic Icing has a ton of non-shamrock Trinity craft ideas here.

June 13 - St. Anthony

St. Anthony is famous for being the patron saint of lost things. Learn more about the origination of this patronage with the Saint Stories for Kids Podcast episode on St. Anthony here. For a fun family activity, plan a scavenger hunt!

June 14 - Corpus Christi

On June 14th, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (the Body of Christ). The Church teaches in Catechism paragraphs 1236-1237 that:

[B]y the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all. In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: "Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking."

Sadly, a Pew Research poll that came out last year revealed that only 1/3 of Catholics accept the Church's teaching that the Eucharist is the literal body and blood of Christ - the remaining 2/3 either flat out rejected the Church's teaching and believe it is merely a symbol or don't know what the Church teaches! This is such a tragedy on so many levels and should lend extra incentive to those of us who do know and accept Church teaching on this most central tenet of our faith to celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi loudly and proudly.

Ideas to celebrate include going to Eucharistic Adoration or participating in a Eucharistic procession if available in your area. If these options are not available, singing Tantum Ergo or Panis Angelicus and making an Act of Spiritual Communion are also lovely ways to remind ourselves of this greatest treasure of our Church on this day. It is also a Holy Day of Obligation on top of being a regular Sunday, so make doubly sure to get to Mass! To reinforce the beauty of the Real Presence with my children, I also recently purchased this wonderful children's book called Stories of the Blessed Sacrament that contains 12 inspiring, true stories about Eucharistic miracles and Jesus's real presence in the Eucharist that I highly recommend.

June 19 and 20 - Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary

The Sacred Heart is the focus of the Church for the entire month of June. A beautiful way to consecrate your home and family to the Sacred Heart this month is to "enthrone" the Sacred Heart in your home. While there are several methods, the easiest way to do so is to obtain an image of the Sacred Heart, display it in a place of prominence in your home, and recite the beautiful prayer of consecration by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. There are some gorgeous watercolor images of the Sacred Heart on Etsy by various Catholic artists here. Before the Enthronement ceremony, take some time spiritually prepare as a family for this act of consecration. Welcome His Heart has some wonderful preparatory materials here. It is also advisable to go to confession and attend mass on the day of the planned Enthronement ceremony.

There are also so many food ideas for these two feast days! Make Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart strawberries with matchstick carrots as the flames, heart shaped jello molds, watermelon cut in the shape of hearts with toothpicks as the thorns, put hummus in a heart shaped dish and use pita chips and diced red bell pepper to embellish... get creative!

Lacy at Catholic Icing and Jenna at Call Her Happy also have a ton of crafts and coloring sheets for these two feast days here and here.

June 24 - Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Six more months until Christmas Eve! The Church celebrates the birth of John the Baptist on this date because it is three months after the Visitation and Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy at that time when Mary visited her. The other cool twist is that St. John the Baptist was the forerunner to Jesus and said in John 3:29-30 that "Jesus must increase, and I must decrease." This date just happens to correspond with the time on which the days begin to grow increasingly shorter until Christmas, at which time the days begin to lengthen again!

St. John is described in the Gospels as wearing camel hair and eating locusts and wild honey. If locusts aren't your thing, a spoonful of honey by itself would be equally appropriate. Jenna with Call Her Happy also has a coloring page in her Growing Bundle for this Feast Day here, and today would be a great day to read about St. John the Baptist in Luke 1:57-80.

June 29 - Saints Peter and Paul

On June 29, the Church celebrates the two heavy hitters from the Church's earliest days - our first pope, St. Peter, and the apostle Paul, who is responsible for authoring a large portion of the New Testament. They are celebrated together on this day as Tradition holds that they were both martyred in Rome on June 29 (in different years). Since St. Peter was originally a fisherman, today would be a great day to go fishing if possible! Since he was also the rock on which our Church was founded, a family trip to a rock climbing wall would also be fun. If you're not feeling outdoorsy, Jenna at Call Her Happy has coloring pages for today here and the Saint Stories for Kids Podcast has an episode on St. Peter here. There are also several indulgences available on this particular feast day: if you have an object blessed by the Pope or by a bishop, making a profession of faith by reciting the Apostle's or Nicene Creed while holding the object can make a plenary indulgence (the usual conditions apply, namely, that you be detached from sin, go to confession within three weeks of the indulgence, receive communion, and pray for the intentions of the Pope). You can get a partial indulgence by praying "Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, intercede for us. Guard your people, who rely on the patronage of your apostles Peter and Paul, O Lord, and keep them under your continual protection, through Christ our Lord. Amen."

At-Home Vacation Bible School Resources

Lastly, I wanted to include links to some at-home VBS resources here as many parishes have cancelled their summer programming due to the pandemic. Blessed Is She has a free four week VBS program focusing on the virtues of charity, gratitude, courage, and perseverance based on their Rise Up devotional for kids here. Lacy at Catholic Icing also put together a free VBS program focused on the Sacred Heart here. My family will be trying out both this summer, and I hope yours will, too!

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