Friday, February 11, 2005


Why are traditions important? Why should I emphasize traditions in my home?

I’ve been reading an article I found in the Handmaiden, Fall 2002, written by Ginny Nieuwsma titled Lest We Forget: Keeping Traditions. I really like was she has to say about small ‘t’ traditions and there importance. Knowing what traditions are important to my family and me, will help me map out the vision of my family that I am trying to determine. But why should traditions be important? Why do we do the things we do? What difference does it make if our dyed eggs on Pascha are red or green? Or whether or not we buy our communion bread or not? Why celebrate and honor our patron saints? The list could go on for a VERY long time.

Nieuwsma say “Those who have come before speak with a collective wisdom about life and eternal truths, and about how to pass those on to the next generation. We must keep this process of handing down the faith active. Strengthening this link between the past and the future is the best way to guarantee that our children will know what’s important, and what must be cherished.”

I love it when she says, “As human beings, we crave events to look forward to, and anticipation sparks joy and creativity.” There is no better place to be to anticipate events throughout the Church year. What JOY!

“Keeping the traditions of the Church will help us remember God and keep Him at the center of our lives. This will not happen by accident. We must be deliberate and determined to repeat those things that have been given to us, and repeat them, and repeat them. Why? Because as humans, God knows we are so inclined to forget.”

“The small, everyday traditions that we embrace help guide us down a straight path.” Which is what I NEED; guidance!

Share with me what some of your family’s small ‘t’ traditions are that you’ve developed over the years. What ways are you teaching your family to always remember God and to keep Him the center of your lives?


JamesoftheNorthwest said...

Well, Sue is familiar with this one, but I have taken up the habit of "blessing" the children as they lay down to sleep.

What is wonderful for me is that the kids typically will not ever let me forget, insisting that I give them a blessing.

It is a special and tender moment for all of us.

Philippa said...

On Christmas Eve when we came home from services, my husband always read the Birth of Christ from St. Luke.

Growing up in a household with an immigrant Italian grandmother, we had many traditions and traditional foods at the holidays especially.

alana said...

Definitely making the sign of the cross and a blessing prayer over the kids as we tuck them in, and if they are sick. Holy water and blessed oil also play in, here.

We are trying hard to learn a few new traditions at our house, on new habits are just as hard to make as old ones are to break: Breakfast prayers, for instance.

Food is big. At our house we do Stouffers Lasagna at Christmas dinner, as it is necessary to not be cooking all day. And an apple pie and cider (still fasting friendly) after services on Christmas eve as a festive bed time snack.

abayea said...

I am BIG on small t's. Here are a few:

**Advent devotions: I usually make up my own but we have done Jessie tree and last year we went through a beautiful Orthodox book called Christ in the Old Testament.

**We read the Nativity story on Christmas Eve from the Gospels

**On thanksgiving b4 we tuck in, my son recites a poem or psalm that he has memorized

**For the feast of the Meeting a couple weeks ago I baked a white layer cake and put 2 turtle doves on top. Next to the cake I put the festal icon. After dinner we talked about the feast, the icon, the liturgical colors, etc.

**For Annunciation this year I plan to start my Marian garden. Seems fitting...

**St. Nicholas day--magnet icon for the school locker and a bag of chocolate gold coins

**St. Patrick's day--I bought a medal, an icon card and hopefully I'll get a book or video about the saint

**1st day of school--Christ pantocrator magnet icon for the school locker

I probably could think of more but these are off the top of my head