Worshiping as a family is something we all need to work on. Sometimes we rush into these Lenten services thinking it is something we have to do and we don’t prepare enough to go to these services. In his book Great Lent, Fr. Alexander Schmemann writes,
We understand that it is simply impossible to pass from our normal state of mind made up almost entirely of fuss, rush, and care into this new one without first “quieting down,” without restoring in ourselves a measure of inner stability. This is why those who think of church services only in terms of “obligations,” who always inquire about the required minimum can never understand the true nature of worship which is to take us into a different world—that of God’s Presence!
So, when we consider that quote and really think about what we need to do as a family, we need to quiet down and not just go to the service but to be living them. Teach our children about the service and to teach ourselves about the service. There are so many ways we can integrate these beautiful services into the home. Get them involved and tell children what to expect when they are going to church, “tonight we are going to go to church as a family.” Prepare them to be engaged in the services and to help them afterward to debrief.
Excerpt adapted from “Lent in the Home” by Melissa Tsongranis. Visit the Orthodox Faith and Family podcast on the Orthodox Christian Network (myocn.net) to hear the entire episode.