One of the questions I get asked a lot is if I could please recommend resources for those who are new to celebrating the Liturgical Calendar/Church Year at home, which is something you would think I would be prepared to do. But all too often I clam up – I forget names, titles, authors, my birthday, whether or not I brushed my teeth this morning… In other words, I should never be on a game show. “On the spot” is so not my thing. But making a quick blog post with links and pictures is my thing, so here it is – 5 books for learning about and celebrating the Church Year at home:
I love, love, love, the series that this book comes out of – it is a quick, easy, and HELPFUL read for anyone who wants to learn the very basic rhythm and reasons of the liturgical calendar.
While this book is written for new Episcopalians anyone can read and learn from it, especially those who are completely new to the Church Year idea. This book will give you a good handle on where this practice comes from, how to decipher the terms, and some ideas on how it is observed in churches and homes.
This book is perhaps the most in-depth one of the bunch. To Dance with God is packed with meaning, history, and wisdom, often waxing poetic (in a good way) as to why celebrating the Liturgical Calendar matters, as well as being filled with plenty of how-to ideas, readings, and projects. If you want to go deep into the Church Year, this is the book for you.
This is a slightly more down-to-earth version of To Dance with God – i.e. not quite so poetic, but still packed with great info. My favorite parts of Let Us Keep the Feast are the “Around the World” portions of each chapter, which share how the Church Year is celebrated all over the globe (something I love to incorporate into our home traditions) and the scriptures for memorization references for each feast and celebration. While you might not sit down and read this one straight through, it would be a great resources to consult before each season.
(okay, so this is my book, it’s true. But still, it firmly falls into this category. )
A Homemade Year is part faith memoir, part liturgical craft/recipe/party book, written from the perspective of someone who (up to that point) was completely new to all things Liturgical but who wanted to find cute, modern ways to celebrate them at home. Out of all of these books, AHY is still the only one (and of it’s kind that I know of) that is in full color, with lots of images of the recipes and projects and parties within it’s pages, something I am particularly proud of and something I had to fight for. When I set out to write this book, my goal was for it to be a sort of Martha Stewart- meets-Anne Lamott-meets-Phyllis Tickle kind of book, and I think we got pretty close, considering I am not nearly as cool as any of those ladies. While not as in-depth as or specific as the previous two, AHY is still a great resource for parents who want to celebrate the Church Year at home creatively.
This book by Kara Oliver is an easy to use guide to creating faith practices oriented around the Church Year. Each chapter features a Weekly Gathering Plan, Prayer and Practice Prompts, and other visual cues. If you are looking for somewhere to start with little to no prep this is a great resource.
While there are many other great “faith at home” books (I see another post coming soon…,) these are my favorites that are Church Year specific. Books that can help you learn about the history, meaning, and value of the Liturgical Calendar, while also inspiring you to began celebrating the Story of God at home at your own pace, with your own talents.
Are there any books that you think should be on this list? Leave a comment so I can check them out!