Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday Tea Time through the Church Year and the Feast of St. Matthew

One way we attempt to follow the life of Christ with our children is by celebrating the church year in our home.

To that end, we have begun to follow the ideas of so many wonderful bloggers who hold Tea Times with their children, young and old, boy and girl celebrating the feasts of the church year.

The Tea Times look something like this:

Light Candle: as we do in church, the light reminds of the Light of the World in our very midst. The lighting of the candle is a helpful signal that something special and holy is about to begin.

Prayer: The Collect of the Day. The Collect is a prayer that "collects" our attention to the themes of Scripture for the day. It also collects up the petitions of all present individuals into one prayer. Although the Book of Common Prayer has gone through many changes through time, many of the collects are still the work of Thomas Cranmer in the mid-1500s, who wrote or edited and translated collects of the fifth and sixth centuries.

Scripture: Though at other times, we read from Story Bibles, this is a time to read directly from Scripture. To maintain the focus of our little ones, I cut down the readings if necessary but would like them to begin to learn to listen to full passages from the Word of God. The Scripture will tie to the theme of the week.

The Blessing, Tea and Snack: One of the children pray before we begin our snack and tea. The ladies at Catholic Cuisine have developed a wonderful site full or recipes and ideas to fit the day.

Hymn Study: I play the service music we are studying for the month in the background as they snack. As the bustle of pouring tea and eating our snack quiets, we listen to the hymn more closely, then discuss, and then sing again together. We work on reciting the hymn without singing. We will loosely follow the hymn schedule from Ambleside Online but substitute in our church's service music as well. So for example we are beginning with The Gloria in Excelcious Deo (Hymnal S280).

Activity or Craft: For fun and to reinforce the theme from Scripture or life of the saint we are studying.

Themes for Term 1: Introduction to the Church Calendar, The Cross, The Lives of the Saints, Advent, Christmas.

For this week's tea, we celebrated the Feast of St. Matthew:

The treat were shortbread cookies. I thought they looked easy to make and jewel-like!

Scripture: Matthew 9:9-13

The Collect:
O Almighty God,
whose blessed Son called Matthew the tax collector
to be an apostle and evangelist:
give us grace to forsake the selfish pursuit of gain
and the possessive love of riches
that we may follow in the way of your Son Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Coloring Pages:
The Calling of St. Matthew Coloring Page

St. Matthew writing Scripture

St. Matthew's Shield

Two Activities:
We studied the Caravaggio painting The Calling of St. Matthew:

Hubby brought home a bag of candy money and we acted the story out. Boy, it was hard for them to let go of the chocolate coins--talk about forsaking "the selfish pursuit of gain and the possessive love of riches." We filled the empty tax collector's cup up with toy people to represent how Matthew became a fisher of men rather than collector of money!

We also recited and sang the Gloria as they colored, working and discussing the third stanza. It was a lovely afternoon and a fun surprise to have hubby join us!

I'd love to hear any ideas you had for this feast for next year!

Next week will be the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels. Any ideas on how to approach this idea with little ones?

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I really like this idea! Do you only do it on high feast days?

Also, for St. Michael's, what about angelfood cake? :) And maybe copying one of those great pictures with him standing over the devil with a sword? Little kids seem to really like swords . . . and it gives a great visual image to help explain spiritual warfare to kids who are still at that concrete stage.


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