Four Ways to Live Liturgically During Summer’s Ordinary Days
I don’t know about you, but I find it fairly simple and rather exciting to live out the liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter. There are so many tangible ways to naturally integrate these seasons into everyday living—in my prayer life, in my home, and with my family.
During Advent and Lent, I enjoy praying with a devotional to prepare my heart for the extraordinary miracles of Jesus’ birth on Christmas and resurrection on Easter. During the dark evenings leading up to Christmas, my family gathers around the Advent wreath. The light grows brighter, as we anticipate His coming. During Lent, a simple prayer table focuses our attention on Christ’s passion and death—all He endured for our salvation and what we can offer Him in return.
When Christmas and Easter finally arrive, I am ready to enter into the celebration. On Christmas, I arrive in Bethlehem, ready to receive the Christ Child in my heart. And on Easter, my entire being rejoices in the hope of new life in the Lord.
But what do I do when the calendar turns to the day after Christmas? Or when the 50-daylong Easter season is over and life returns to normal? How do I live liturgically during Ordinary Time?
Order Our Days in His Peace
There are two periods of Ordinary Time in the Church calendar. One is the short time between the end of Christmas and the beginning of Lent. The longer stretch of Ordinary Time—the one we’re in now—begins after Easter and ends just before Advent.
Ordinary Time comes from the Latin ordinalis, which means “showing order.” In many ways, we practice “showing order” when we intentionally commit to prayer during Advent and Lent. We get into the habit of daily prayer and reflection, so that we can continue that practice during the everyday, ordinary times of our lives.
But perhaps Ordinary Time still feels too expansive to make meaningful. Perhaps we need more tangible ideas to live liturgically during Ordinary Time.
The good news is that our faith can remain alive and active, even during our most “normal” days. Throughout Ordinary Time, the liturgical color of green gives us hope, just as green in nature symbolizes new life, growth, fullness, and fruitfulness.
Also, there are plenty of beautiful feast days and Catholic customs that we can integrate into our everyday, ordinary lives.
How to Live Liturgically During Summer’s Ordinary Time
Since we are in the midst of that longer stretch of Ordinary Time, here are four ways to live liturgically during June, July, and August. Pick one or two to incorporate into your summer routine, and slowly add more over time.
1. Keep praying.
While we may not have a beautiful devotional to pray with each day, allow the time you spent with your Advent and Lent prayer journals to be a springboard for a daily prayer habit. One way to do this is by meditating on the daily Mass readings. You can find the readings, along with a daily Gospel reflection, right here. I am always surprised by how often the daily readings speak directly to my personal circumstances. It’s like they were written just for me! Keep a journal close by to jot down verses that are especially meaningful to you.
2. Discover a new devotion.
The month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which culminates on the June 28th feast day. Since the Sacred Heart of Jesus is present on earth in the Blessed Sacrament, visit a Eucharistic Adoration Chapel on this feast day. Perhaps this will slowly turn into a weekly Holy Hour. Another custom involving the Sacred Heart of Jesus is enthroning your home, which simply means inviting Jesus into your home and giving Him authority over it. To learn more about this process, click here.
3. Become friends with the Saints.
July is dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus. St. Catherine of Siena lends us a beautiful prayer to incorporate into our daily prayer time:
Precious Blood, Ocean of Divine Mercy: flow upon us. Precious Blood, Most Pure Offering: procure us every grace! Precious Blood, Hope and Refuge of Sinners: atone for us! Precious Blood, Delight of Holy Souls: draw us! Amen.
Also, many Saints have feast days in July. This long summer month is a great time to befriend them! Here are a few ideas:
- Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (July 4) is a favorite among young-adult Catholics. In his honor, go on a hike and spend time with God in nature.
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel (July 16) gave St. Simon Stock the scapular. Learn more about this sacramental and the protection that it offers through Our Lady’s powerful prayers.
- Sts. Joachim and Anne (July 26) are the grandparents of Jesus. Through their intercession, say a special prayer for your grandparents. If they are still living, plan a visit, give them a call, or send them a card.
- St. Martha (July 29) and her siblings Lazarus and Mary were good friends of Jesus. Ask for Martha’s intercession when your to-do list is causing you to be “anxious and troubled” (Luke 10:38-42).
4. Grow in your relationship with Mary.
August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We honor Mary’s heart, because it remained purely attentive to the will of God and devoted to her Son, Jesus. Here are a few ways we can grow in our relationship with Mary, especially this August:
- Pray a daily Rosary. Start small by praying one decade a day and slowly build up to one Rosary per day.
- Display a beautiful statue or picture of Mary prominently in your home. During the summer months when nature is in full bloom, place flowers near your Marian image. After all, moms love flowers from their children!
- Celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption on August 15 with Mass and a special dessert.
- Consecrate yourself to Jesus through Mary.
Anything but Ordinary
Ordinary Time may be the longest liturgical season, but it is anything but mundane and boring. It is a great time to order our days in Christ’s peace.
In addition, feast days, rich traditions, and Catholic customs ignite our faith, so we can live prayerfully, intentionally, and liturgically all throughout the year.
How do you practice liturgical living during the ordinary days of summer?
This article first appeared on the Blessed Is She blog.