Saturday Night Sabbath Feasts have become a special time for our family. Though we have missed at times due to illness, travel, new babies, moves, dinner invites and just plain old exhaustion, the feast has become a family tradition that creates a rhythm of our week, training for our children, and family fun.
We follow the seasons of the church year and usually begin the dinner by reading the collect and lighting our Christ Candle, a reminder that Christ is with us and we are now ushering in a new Lord's Day.
I try to prepare a feast of a meal, set and arrange the table with care, and have as good of bread food, and wine our budget will allow. We splurge for this meal even if it means having simpler fare during the week.
We intersperse Scripture and discussion throughout the meal. If the children finish eating before us, they are then given a coloring page based on the lesson to keep them occupied and reinforce the readings. I also try to have a fun activity or visual aid to help our little ones understand the lesson. Then it it time for dessert, followed by a time of singing and prayer. It seems for the children dessert is a must and so we've had very simple meals that to them still were a feast because we finished with a yummy dessert! I believe my hubby would say the wine and bread create the foreshadow of the heavenly banquet for him.
We try to fill this time with a sense of joy and fun (it is a celebration and a feast after all!), but also a time of holiness and prayer. We are still finding the balance for our children ages 4, 2, and 4 months. Having special family time, good food, and fun activities is usually enough to bring about interest and good behavior!
After the children are in bed, hubby usually does dishes, while I prep everything for Sunday-breakfast, lunch (it takes us about 20 minutes to get home from church and we are hungry!), Bibles, baby bags, coats and shoes ready by the door. This eases the sometimes chaos of our Sunday morning rush to church. It also helps it feel like more of a day of rest for me if meals are already prepped and things tidied.
Does your family do something similar? What ideas do you have for making the time fun but devotional? Any hints for making Sunday a day of rest?