So said an 1893 book called Sundays with the Children, according to one of my all-time favorite idea books, Mrs. Sharp's Traditions: Reviving Victorian Family Traditions of Comfort and Joy. Author Sara Ban Breathnach goes on to say:
"In virtually all Victorian households, Sunday or the Sabbath was set aside as a day of worship, rest and family time. Victorian families were devoted to their Sunday rituals: morning church services followed by the week's most elaborate dinner, to which the entire extended family was invited, followed by afternoons set aside for wholesome family recreational pursuits, ending with evening Bible readings and the singing of hymns. It was considered one of Mother's responsibilities to come up with spiritually uplifting and morally edifying pastimes for the entire family. In fact, so widespread was this typical observance of the Sabbath that many women's periodicals such as Good Housekeeping regularly included columns containing Sabbath activity ideas for mothers who were expected to set aside Sundays for character building and the religious training of children."
Apparently, even in the Victorian age, mothers had their work cut out for them in keeping their family's Sabbath day holy. Today, with so much to see-do-play-buy ~ and all of it 24/7 ~ it can be quite a challenge to keep our Sundays simple and sacred. Busy schedules often mean we find ourselves out shopping and running errands on Sunday as if it were any other day of the week. And then that beautiful feeling that filled our hearts as we left church in the morning seems far, far away when we're fighting the crowds at Shaw's.
Obviously we all have different schedules, plans and expectations for Sunday. For my family I would like to make it a day of peace and togetherness. A day to recoup, re-group and refresh. A day for Mass, breakfast with my folks, family dinner and cozy home projects. Oh, and football, of course. ;)
Please don't think I've by any means perfected this routine. No - many's a Sunday you'll find me in line at Michaels, perhaps making a quick stop at Wild Oats on the way home. But I know when we do carve out a day for just staying at home, we start the week more connected and rejuvenated.
Today is a really nice day; we're keeping it fairly simple and quiet. I've got a meatloaf, potatoes and squash in the oven. Football is on the TV (o.k. that's not so quiet). And once I wrap up this post, I'm heading for the couch with my lesson plans ... The errands crept up on us though - Bill just took the boys to the barber's - you can see why in the picture below! :)
Here are my bunch o' boys (and me!) just before heading out to church this morning. In case you're wondering Bill had them say "Chocolate!" and that would explain the giddy smiles.
My mum and dad returned home with us for coffee and a bit of breakfast as they do each week. Breakfast was especially delicious today! The Dominican Sisters held a bake sale at our church this morning. (Proceeds will be used to buy medical supplies for the Sisters' mission to help support the lepers.) The boys got to pick out a little bit of everything - Papa's treat! Boy did that apple pie taste great with our coffee!
And speaking of Papa, here I am with my mum and dad, better known around here as Nana and Papa. :)
A quick update - my Dad is doing very well and recently got a clean bill of health! Bill is also doing well and feeling much better these days. After the year we've had, we have sooo much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!
Just before lunch, I set up the materials to make our long overdue saint spoons! My dear friend Alice started this wonderful trend over a month ago and many of us in the blogosphere have happily followed suit! Alice has generously offered to do a round-up of "all saints" at Cottage Blessings and we surely didn't want to be left out!
So after a bit of snipping and gluing, we are proud to present our family's All Saints Parade:
From left to right: St. George, St. Agnes, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Martin of Tours, St. Cecilia, St. Francis and St. Nicholas.
And now for a closer look!
St. George: As you know, St. George is Crackerjack's patron saint. He is covered in tin foil armor and carrying a spear (a drink stirrer with tin foil spear tip).
St. Agnes: We pictured her in pink and blue and here she is adorned by her tiny lamb (an Easter sticker).
St. Thomas Aquinas: This is Bookworm's patron saint (and patron of students and learning). He is carrying a Bible (sticker).
St. Cecilia: She is the patron saint of musicians (hence the musical notes stickers). We placed her in a purple robe because Cecilia is my grandmother's middle name and purple is her favorite color. :)
St. Francis: We dressed our family patron saint in brown felt and a gold embroidery floss sash and added a few animal stickers. (He's the patron saint of nature.)
St. Nicholas: He is the patron saint of children everywhere - and also our Earlybird, whose birthday is in December.
And finally here is St. Martin of Tours. He is shown with his horse, dressed in his golden armor and the red cloak that he shared with a beggar. As his story goes, that night Jesus appeared to him in a dream, wearing the very same cloak.
This was a wonderful family activity for a Sunday at home with the children! I love how this simple craft, in a very visual and hands-on way, helped the boys learn the stories behind our favorite saints. Thank you Alice for sharing this fantastic idea with us!
And thank you all for stopping by and sharing in our day. I wish you a happy new week ahead!