Celebrating Marian Feast days is one of the highlights of the Liturgical Year for me. To me, Mary is the ideal example of how to live out my vocation as a mother; She did it whole-heartedly, despite the unknown, which is something that we should emulate, no mater what our calling in life is. Just recently I was reading an article which talked about celebrating Mary’s feasts, and in it the author pointed out that celebrating a Marian feast highlights a particular day for us so that we might recall how God is calling us to live out that vocation in a very tangible way.
As a mother, my calling is very much visible to the world. I have borne these children, and I am entrusted with their care. My efforts are very much on display for the world to see! In a similar fashion, we can make each of her feast days both a celebration, and a prayer for our children’s future. What are their vocations going to be? What is it that they are going to be called to say “Yes” to? We can’t know for certain, but we can encourage them in seeking out God, as Mary did, and we can remind them of her “Yes” by calling them to celebrate her life in all the mystery that surrounds it.
A visible display is a fun way to bring them into feast days. I’m really fond of little altars! In a fashion similar to how Waldorf play encourages seasonal play-scapes on a low table, you can set up a display for your kids to draw them in and get them talking and asking questions. For the feast of the Assumption, I displayed our little bust of Mary on blue (Her color!), and set up this simple cupcake display.
Ideally, you’d like to have 12 cupcakes thereby totaling twelve stars. You can talk to your children about the passage from the Book of Revelation which speaks of the Woman clothed with the sun and wearing a crown of 12 stars on her head. Very simply, draw them into Scripture; Get the conversation started, and show them the symbolism in your display.
For this display, I removed all the smaller items from our altar table, and laid out a blue cloth to rest our Mary statue on. I used some crinkled up white tissue paper on my cupcake stand and nestled my cupcakes amidst the paper to imitate clouds in the sky. Each cupcake is topped with blue frosting, a puffy white cloud (cotton candy), and a candy star.
To make it a more celebratory occasion, say a Hail Mary or a decade of the Rosary before you dig into your yummy treats, or maybe sing a Marian Hymn.
While your altar can be pretty for a day (or a few minutes) with cupcakes, you can keep your altar set up for a Marian Theme all month long by placing small items on it that can remind the children of Mary, or of virtues that she bore, which they can work towards emulating themselves. Here are a few examples of items you could place on the table for your kids to observe:
- some wooden stars (the 12 stars in her crown)
- roses or lilies (a symbol of purity and love)
- a small toy donkey to represent her travel on the way to the Nativity
- a crucifix, because she stood at the foot of the cross, ever faithful
- picture of the Immaculate Heart
For more ways to celebrate and observe Marian Feast Days you can visit Loyola Press, where they list various activities, printables, and resources revolving around the Blessed Mother.
You can also come and visit me on my blog and print out a color-and-paste Mary Diorama that is also in keeping with just about any Marian Feast Day.
Veni Sancte Spiritus, Veni per Marium!