Sunday, November 1, 2015

Fun for the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls

As I mentioned last week, I wanted to tell you about a craft for the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls that my children enjoy creating.  I apologize, but I cannot remember where I first saw a similar idea to this one, but thank you to all of you who provide wonderful Catholic ideas that help our children learn the Faith.
For the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls, we first discuss the Church, explaining that the Church is not just those Catholics on earth.  The Church consists of three parts:  the Church  Triumphant, the Church Suffering, and the Church Militant.  The Church Triumphant are all those souls, canonized or not, those who we remember on the Feast of All Saints, who are now in heaven with our Lord.  The Church Suffering consists of the Poor souls in Purgatory, those to whom the entire month of November is dedicated and for whom we must remember to pray and sacrifice.  The Church Militant are all of the Faithful on earth, those of us who are still struggling to grow in holiness and reach our heavenly goal.  As a visual explanation, I have my children create a poster--one year's poster is shown below.  I think this was done a few years ago.  That year I printed pictures from the old Roman Breviary; they are no longer copyrighted.  The kids colored the images, glued them in order, and then we labeled each corresponding part of the Church.  Sometimes we write names of people who have died to help us remember to pray for them.

Sorry for the poor image.
This  year my younger children are coloring this image from Catholic Playground for the Feast of All Saints.  Catholic Playground has so many great free coloring pages!  My children always enjoy them.
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Another new idea we are going to try this year is from Jessica at Shower of Roses.  I loved her Ora Pro Nobis Candy Boxes and Calendar ideas and am adapting them for our family.  We printed her beautiful calendar, filling each square with a name of someone who has died; a few of the squares are also labeled "the soul most forgotten" and "the soul closest to reaching heaven."  We will offer extra prayers and sacrifices for this soul.  For the Ora Pro Nobis Candy Boxes idea, which I love, I simply placed 60 pieces of candy in a bag, labeling it with one of Jessica's labels.  I did not have enough candy for each child to have their own bag of 30 pieces, so each day two of the kids will have the option of choosing a piece of candy after saying a prayer for the Souls in Purgatory or leaving the candy behind as an additional offering.  I love this idea!  While it seems like a simple act, small sacrifices teach us to think of others' needs and lead us to greater and greater acts of love.  (Thanks, Jessica!)
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One idea our family has incorporated for the month of the Holy Souls for many years now is the recitation of the St Gertrude prayer 15 times daily throughout the entire month.  You can read more about this devotion in the following post:  St. Gertrude's Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory.  One year we created simple sets of 15 beads, each with a cross.  Using these, we could easily keep track of the number of "Eternal Father" prayers we had said that day since the beads stay in place when slid backward.  I think this year we may have to make some of the kids (and me) new strings of beads as eventually the string wears through.  If you would like directions to make these prayer beads, please let me know.  I would be happy to provide them for you.

I pray you and your family  have a very blessed Feast of All Saints!

God  bless!

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