If I’d have known about this book earlier, I’d have reviewed it on September 1. Seriously. Twenty Yawns could have waited. Seasons of the Faith: Helping Your Family Celebrate the Feasts and Fasts of the Church is a guide to celebrating the Church Year, and the Church Year starts on September 1.
But don’t let the fact that I’m a couple of days late with this review stop you from reading and using Seasons of the Faith. It’s by Sarah Wright, who blogs as The Orthodox Mama. She’s the mom of three little ones. She totally gets both the frustrations and the joys of raising little ones in the Orthodox faith. And she’s got loads of wonderful ideas to help other Orthodox mamas who are on the same journey.
It’s likely that your family already has traditions for Pascha and Christmas. Maybe you take baskets of fruit to church on Transfiguration. But what about the Dormition? Or the Entrance of the Lord into the Temple? If you can’t think of anything to do that makes sense for your family, Sarah can help.
Church and Home
As Sarah says early in Seasons of the Faith, “The liturgical calendar offers Christians a way to adjust the very rhythm of their family life to that of the Church. The world seems to go forward at a breakneck speed. The Church, however, cycles through the same feasts, the same fasts, the same readings year after year – reminding us over and over again who we really are.”
Celebrating this rhythm, observing the feasts and fasts, helps you integrate the life of the Church into the life of your family, and the life of your family into the life of the Church. And that’s what will keep your children in the Church as they grow up.
This isn’t a book that will make you feel like a failure if you’re working outside the home, if you’re not skilled at arts and crafts, if you don’t fit someone else’s stereotype of what a good Orthodox mama should be. Rather, Sarah assumes that you are a good Orthodox mama. The book reads like the voice of a friend, sharing ideas over a cup of tea and a plate of cookies.
Nobody is going to try to do every single thing in the book. Nobody should. That would be silly. But anyone could read it and find ideas that they’d love to try.
The book is available on Sarah’s blog, The Orthodox Mama. Sarah gave me a copy because she mentioned Catherine’s Pascha in it (which was a total surprise, and it tickled me pink!). She didn’t ask me for the review. I just wanted to tell you about the book, because I think it’s wonderful, and I wish I’d had it when my kids were little!
17 essential picture books for Orthodox Christian kids: If you’re looking for picture books that include stories about Orthodox Christian people and traditions, you’ll find them on this list.
Disabilities and Special Needs in the Church: Some people are uncomfortable around people with disabilities. They don’t know what to do or say. You can get some advice here, from people with disabilities, to make it easier.
Justinian and Theodora: A Love Story: St. Theodora, the wife and co-ruler with St. Justinian the Great, is one of my very favorite saints.
Buy the Books!
These delightfully diverse books will give Orthodox Christian children the chance to see themselves in books. And they’ll give other children the chance to see books that feature cultural practices they may not be familiar with.
FINALIST IN THE 2015 USA BEST BOOK AWARDS
Catherine doesn’t like vegetables. She doesn’t like naps. She doesn’t like it when her mom combs her hair. She loves hot dogs, chocolate cake, and her best friend, Elizabeth. Most of all, she loves Pascha! Pascha, the Orthodox Christian Easter, is celebrated in the middle of the night, with processions and candles and bells and singing. And Catherine insists that she’s not a bit sleepy.
The Saint Nicholas Day Snow
Shoes or stockings? Horse or sleigh? Does St. Nicholas visit on December 6 or on Christmas Eve? Will a little girl’s prayer be answered? When Elizabeth has to stay at Catherine’s house, she’s worried about her grandmother, and worried that St. Nicholas won’t find her. The grownups, though, are worried about snow.