Catholic Family Meeting {Prep for Sunday, January 4} - Epiphany!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

This past week has been quite busy in preparing for and celebrating Christmas.  What a blessing to spend so much time with family!  

We are trying to keep on celebrating the Christmas season through the Epiphany this Sunday.  This week's family meeting has fun and easy ways to recognize the Epiphany of The Lord, when the magi visit Jesus.   

Celebrating the Real Season of Christmas {December 25 and after}

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Culturally, the Christmas season seems to die down a couple days after December 25.  Christmas music is no longer on the radio.  Christmas decorations are taken down, and stores relocate Christmas items to the clearance section.  This makes perfect sense in a world where we start celebrating Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.  

But for those of us who have been focusing on the waiting and expectation of Christmas during Advent, it's important that the real Christmas season gets it's due.  The Church's Christmas season technically lasts until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which is January 11 this year.  

We have been listening to some Christmas music and taking part in many of Christmas traditions, but I really want the Church's Christmas season to really be celebrated.  

To help us celebrate, I plan on continuing with Christmas music, visiting a local lights display, and eating special treats.  We will also be leaving our tree up for the next couple of weeks. 

In addition, there are some important feast days during the Christmas season that can be fun to celebrate.  Below is a list of the feast days and simple ideas for observing them.
Dec. 25 - Christmas

I'm sure you have PLENTY of ideas for celebrating Christmas day, so we'll move on...

Dec. 26 - Feast of St. Stephen (first martyr)

  • Boxing Day, a British tradition celebrated on St. Stephen's Day, is a day to open the poor "boxes" and give to the needy.  As a family, gather items or money to give to the poor or prepare a gift for someone in need.
  • Read or sing "Good King Wenceslas", which is about the real St. Wenceslaus, who went out to do good deeds on St. Stephen's Day

Dec. 27 - Feast of St. John the Evangelist

  • Read the gospel of John (written by St. John).
  • John was the apostle that Jesus most loved.  He is often pictured near or next to Jesus, like at the Last Supper, the Transfiguration, and Jesus' crucifixion.  Have the kids hunt for John in biblical pictures.
  • Drink wine or make hot spiced wine, as it is said St. John drank poisoned wine without getting sick and that wine offered on his feast day is blessed.
  • An eagle is the symbol of St. John.  Go bird watching and look out for eagles.

Dec. 28 (Sunday) - Feast of the Holy Family
  • Prep for mass with our family meeting slideshow
  • Have a family get-together or family outing
  • Eat Lebanese food like Mary would have prepared for Joseph and Jesus.
Dec. 29 -  St. Thomas Becket

  • Have an English tea party and discuss St. Thomas' life, complete with English tea and treats, like crackers, cookies, cheese, and fruits.
  • Bake sword and mitre cookies, with a simple sugar cookie recipe.  Or you could cut sandwiches into swords with mitres.
  • Adults can watch Becket, which is streaming on Netflix!

Dec. 31 - St. Sylvester

  • Make Sylvester Punch, an Austrian tradition of spiced wine/tea
  • Give thanks for the past year and
  • Celebrate the New Year

  • Attend mass (it's a holy day of obligation)
  • Pray a rosary together.
  • Make a simple Blessed Brownie with a fleur-de-lis (a symbol of Mary) on top with icing or powdered sugar
  • Visit the Statue of Mary at church

  • Color a poster for Jesus' name, like this one:

The Most Holy Name of Jesus Coloring Page
Free Printable
Real Life at Home

I'm hoping to plan more for the Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord.  Have a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Catholic Family Meeting {Prep for Sunday, Dec 28} - Feast of the Holy Family

Monday, December 22, 2014

Seeing as how Christmas Eve is just two days away (!!!), I am not exactly sure when I'm planning to do our family meeting on the mass readings this week.  I first want to focus on Christmas mass and making sure the children understand the nativity story.  We've been reading it, watching it on video with The Nativity Story (without viewing the scarier parts) and The Nativity, and the girls have been reenacting it with their Nativity play set.  I think I just have to continue to emphasize the importance of the real reason for Christmas, while still letting the girls enjoy Santa and other traditions.

We will probably discuss Sunday's readings on Friday or Saturday, and celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family on Sunday.  It's a great time to discuss with our kids what a family is and the commitment that a family has to each other in good times and in bad.

So without further ado, here is this week's family meeting slideshow:

Catholic Family Meeting {Prep for December 21} - Fourth Sunday of Advent

Oops!  So sorry I forgot to post this past week's Family Meeting slideshow.  You can still talk about the readings with your family, and we can always strive to be more like Mary, in her faith and obedience.  

Catholic Family Meeting {Prep for Sunday, December 14} Third Sunday of Advent!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

This Sunday is the third Sunday of Advent, also known as Guadete Sunday, meaning rejoice!  Like last week, the gospel reading is another on John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus.  It starts with

"A man named John was sent from God.  He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.  He was not the light, but came to testify to the light." John 1:6-8

Jesus is the light in the darkness.  

Even though in Advent we are preparing for Jesus, He is also already present in our lives.  All we have to do is look around and recognize Him among the blessings we've been given.  

For me, I see Jesus in my husband when he is selfless and forgiving.  I see Jesus in my two daughters, their sweetness, innocence, and joy in the smallest of things.  I see Jesus in my parents, in their generosity and love.  I see Jesus in the beauty and perfection of nature.  I see Jesus in the faithful servants of His church, who generously care for their community and teach the gospel to their children.  I see Jesus in the small, kind acts of strangers every day.  

This week there are several awesome feast days that are fun to celebrate and help us stay focused on Jesus during Advent:  St. Juan Diego (12/9), Our Lady of Guadalupe (12/12), and St. Lucy (12/13).  We will be doing activities from the pages I linked that I spent a lot of time researching last year.  Grace is so excited about them, especially St. Lucy's feast day, as she will get to wear the wreath on her head and deliver cinnamon rolls to us for breakfast.  Even if you do just a little to recognize these feast days, your children will appreciate it.

I hope you have a great family meeting!

Catholic Family Meeting {Prep for Sunday, December 7} - 2nd Sunday of Advent!

Monday, December 1, 2014

'As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: "Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare  your way.  A voice of one crying out in the desert: "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths."

                                                                         Mark 1:2-3

This second Sunday of Advent, we continue to prepare for Jesus.  All the readings relate to the Lord's coming and salvation.  The gospel reading tells of John the Baptist, who came before Jesus, baptizing and preparing people for the arrival of the Messiah.  

During our family meeting this week, we focused on how we can prepare ourselves for Jesus and bring others to know Him.  There are also some fun videos about John the Baptist and ideas for simple John the Baptist themed snacks.  

As you continue your Advent, consider including some simple but meaningful traditions, like the ones described here.  Also consider joining the Holy Heroes Advent Adventure for daily videos and activities.

Catholic Family Meeting {Prep for Sunday, November 30} - FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

This Sunday is the start of Advent!  During this time of year, we often think of the arrival of Jesus at His birth.  But this week's readings remind us that we are still waiting for Jesus' arrival.

"Watch, therefore; you do not know when the lord of the house is coming...may he not come suddenly and find you sleeping." (Mark 13:35-36)

This week's family meeting focuses on preparing our hearts and homes for Jesus' arrival at His second coming, including all the fun preparations we love during Advent: the Advent wreath, Christmas decorating, music, etc.  

I've linked it in the family meeting slideshow below, but I'll link it here too.  This post from last week has a lot of the basic information and traditions of Advent.  Let's do our best to not be found sleeping this Advent.

Keeping Christ in Christmas: Celebrating Advent 2014 {Starting November 30th!}

Thursday, November 20, 2014

**This post is an updated post from last year.  All the links and calendars have been updated for 2014.

Even though I am a cradle-Catholic, I never grew up celebrating Advent.  Not intentionally, anyway.  We went to mass during the Advent season, but I guess I just didn't pay much attention, and I figured our family's Advent wreath was just part of our regular holiday decorations.  I honestly had very little understanding of what Advent was up until a few years ago.  Since then, I have been on a slow, but steady, journey to celebrate Advent with my family.  

Ada and Grace at our church's nativity scene

So what is Advent?  

For Catholics, Advent starts the beginning of the liturgical year, and is a season of anticipation for both the birth of Jesus Christ and Jesus' second coming.  It is celebrated the four weeks leading up to Christmas.  What I love about Advent is that it helps us focus on the reason for the season: Jesus.  All those other details (Christmas gifts, cards, baking, decorating, etc) become less stressful for me, if they are put in their proper places, as ways to glorify God and celebrate His only Son.  

This 2 minute video gives a great overview of Advent:

Now, here's some music to get us anticipating the birth of Jesus!

FYI - Only when you try to compile a list of Advent songs, do you realize that pretty much every Christmas song has to do with post-Jesus' birth.  Thus, a 5 song playlist that includes 4 versions of O Come, Emmanuel (which are all pretty awesome, by the way.)  

Being pretty new to celebrating Advent, our family is trying to add one new tradition each year until we have some basics covered.  I do not want it to be overwhelming or feel like one more thing piled onto the already crazy list of "stuff" to do.  The important thing is preparing our hearts for Jesus.  I will remind myself: Advent does not have to be Pinterest-worthy.  

So, here are some simple ways to celebrate Advent with your family:

Advent wreath

Advent Wreath
An Advent wreath is a pretty simple tradition to start.  We bought ours on, along with the candles, for a very reasonable price.  You can also make one quite easily.  Here is a quick read about how this German custom started.  

This page on Catholic Culture provides the blessing, prayers, and explanation of what to do with your Advent wreath, and Our Sunday Visitor has an Advent guide, as well.

On the first Sunday of Advent (December 1st this year) , we will be blessing our Advent wreath and lighting the first purple candle, along with a prayer.  This is done each night of Advent.  By the second week, we will be lighting the two purple candles, and the third week sees the additional lighting of the pink "joyous" candle.  The fourth, and final, Sunday of Advent observes the lighting of the last purple candle.  The Advent wreath is a simple, yet significant way to incorporate our preparation for the birth of Christ into our daily lives.

Advent calendar

This is a tradition that you are probably familiar with.  There are so many different Advent calendars, and you can buy them at stores, online, or make your own.  Last year, my 4 year-old, Grace, looked forward to it everyday, and I'm sure she's excited to get her little sister in on the fun.  Sometimes we end up with more than one, which is no problem for us!  But to emphasize the true meaning of Advent and Christmas, I want to be sure that at least one of my Advent calendars is religious.  

Loyola Press has an awesome online Advent calendar for kids, which is also printable.  

Children's Advent Calendar

Here is one from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that can be used online or printed.  It includes the Catholic feast days, suggested prayers, and activities that can be done to prepare for Christmas.
I also love this fabric Advent calendar because the kids can add a new piece to the nativity scene each day.  I am thinking of making this with paper nativity pieces.

Reginas Catholic Gifts - Fabric Advent Calendar-Nativity, $42.50 (
Fabric Advent Calendar

Jesse Tree

Jesse Tree

Up until a couple of years ago, I'd never even heard of the Jesse Tree.  So what is it?  The Jesse Tree is an Advent tradition that focuses on Jesus' family tree, as shown in the image on the left.  For more information about the background, check out this article.  Similar to the Advent calendar, a new symbol or ornament is hung on the Jesse Tree each day of Advent.  As the ornament is hung, a corresponding bible passage is read.  

There are so many different ways to do a Jesse Tree:  some simple, some complex.  I even Googled it for you.  You're welcome.
Felt Jesse Tree

More Printable Jesse Tree Ornaments

Last year was our first with a Jesse Tree.  It went over big with my then-4 year old, Grace.  We opted for printable symbols, which can be found here or here.  Then, we hung them on a small Christmas tree that I found at a local crafts store.

Other resources

Looking for some basic printouts on Advent?  Check out this page:

Free Advent Printables
Good Ground Press

Good Ground Press also makes this printable Advent Traditions Game that looks like a lot of fun.

Advent Traditions Game
Good Ground Press

Here is a short video from Catholic News Service with ideas for how to celebrate Advent:


May your family have a blessed Advent!  
- Jessica

Catholic Family Meeting {Prep for Sunday, November 23}

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me."
Matthew 25:40

This Sunday is another special feast day:  The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.

I just love that.  King of the Universe.  

What better lesson to teach our family than that Jesus Christ is the King of everything: all people, all places, all things, for all of eternity.  

It is easy to get lost amid the worldly ideals and begin to see ourselves as our own king or be ruled by sin.  In fact, this feast day was created in 1925 by Pope Pius XI as a response to secularism, a "way of life which leaves God out of man's thinking and living and organizes his life as if God did not exist" (Catholic Culture).  

We are living in a secular world, and it is our job to proclaim in our family and publicly that Christ is our King and King of the Universe.  

We should do this in what we say and in what we do.  In living a life of love and service to the least among us, as Jesus instructed us in this Sunday's gospel.

This week's family meeting includes ideas for celebrating the Feast of Christ, the King, as well as discussing Corporal Works of Mercy and a saint that is a wonderful example of loving the "least among us", even when as a princess.

Catholic Family Meeting {Prep for Sunday, November 16}

Monday, November 10, 2014

"His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.  
Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities.  
Come, share your master's joy.'"
Matthew 25:21

This Sunday's gospel reading (Matthew 25:14-30) is the parable of the talents.  A master leaves for a long journey, leaving talents (money) to his three servants.  Two of his servants go off and use the money he's given them to earn more.  The third servant buries his talent in the ground.  Upon his return, the master celebrates with his two servants, saying (above), "Well done, my good and faithful servant."  The third servant, who buried his talent, is reprimanded and thrown out.

God has given us talents, gifts, and abilities, and He has given them to us for a reason.  He wants us to use them to serve Him and others.  

What good are our talents if we bury them in the sand?  

We must each discern what talents God has given us and how He wants us to use them to further His kingdom.  

This is the focus of this week's family meeting:

Catholic Family Meeting {Prep for Sunday, November 9}

Monday, November 3, 2014

Preparing for this week's family meeting was the first time I've heard of The Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome.  The Lateran Basilica is the Pope's cathedral and is known as "the mother and head of all the churches of the city and the world".  Information for this feast can be found here at Catholic Culture.

Sunday's second reading explains that God created us to be His temple.  "Do you know that you are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16).  If we truly believe that we are all created as temples of God, then that should dictate how we treat our bodies and how we treat others.  

The gospel then tells the familiar story of Jesus cleaning the temple of those who were not treating it with the proper respect.  And later, Jesus refers to himself as the temple that will be destroyed and raised again three days later.

"As we celebrate the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, we focus on how Jesus cleansed the Temple, challenging us to respect his Father's house and all that it stands for, especially his people." - Loyola Press

Here is this week's family meeting:

Catholic Family Meeting {Prep for Sunday, November 2}

Monday, October 27, 2014

I don't know about you, but this time of year gets so busy with fall activities, Halloween, and the impending cold of winter.  

This week there are three important holidays:  Halloween (Friday), All Saints Day (Saturday), and All Souls Day (Sunday).  

I have not been good in the past with celebrating All Saints or All Souls Day, except with going to mass.  This year I really want to do better, but as I said, things have been hectic.  So I'm aiming to have my family celebrate these two special days with limited preparation or time.  

This week's family meeting focuses mainly on All Souls Day, as that is Sunday's mass.  However, I tried to tie in a little about All Saints Day in some of the family activities.  

Check it out and I hope you have a wonderful week of celebrating!

Catholic Family Meeting {Prep for Sunday, October 26}

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

This week's gospel message is such a great one for kids and a much-needed reminder for myself.  

The Pharisees are again ready to trick Jesus into saying something for which them can arrest him.  One of them asks, "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" (Matthew 22:36)

Jesus responds:

 "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind.  This is the greatest commandment.  The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
(Matthew 22:37-39)

My family had a very fruitful discussion about how we can love God and how we can love others.  It can be hard in today's world to put God first.  Our family is trying to put certain structures in place to help us be successful.  

Here are some practical ways we are trying to love God first:
  • Go to mass every Sunday
  • Make Sunday a day of rest, God, and family
  • Pray regularly throughout the day as a family (morning, meals, bedtime, etc)
  • Pray the rosary as a family
  • Have these weekly family meetings to read scripture and learn about God together
  • Celebrate saint feastdays 
  • Read the bible at bedtime regularly
  • Take part in adult bible study programs 
  • Spend time with other families from our church

Here is this week's family meeting slideshow:

Have a blessed week!

Catholic Family Meeting {Prep for Sunday, October 19}

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hello and welcome!  

This week's gospel reading has a couple different focuses, with Jesus' response to the pharisees on whether or not they should pay taxes.  Rather than let himself be tricked, Jesus states, "repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God."  There is a need to pay taxes and live in earthly, human ways, as we are humans of the earth.  However, everything belongs to God, and it's important not to lose sight that He should be the center of our lives.

Life often seems too busy; full of things that are vying for my time.  So many commitments and responsibilities, and sometimes it feels like I'm on a hamster wheel and can't get off.  

In my bible study, I was reminded of this quote by Rick Warren from his book, The Purpose Driven Life:

"If it impossible to do everything people want you to do.  You have just enough time to do God's will.  If you can't get it all done, it means you're trying to do more than God intended for you to do (or, possibly, that you're watching too much TV."  

This week's gospel is an important reminder to put God where he belongs: first and foremost in our lives.  When I do that, everything else falls into place.  

For our family meeting this week, we are focusing on putting God first in the way we spend our time, how we treat others, and how we use our resources.   

So here is this week's slideshow...

Catholic Family Meeting {October 12 Sunday Gospel}

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

It's really feeling like October here.  Cool air, leaves starting to change, and a pumpkin candle burning as I write this.  I hope your family enjoys this week's Catholic family meeting on accepting God's invitation.  Everything you need is linked right in the presentation below.  Enjoy!

Catholic Family Meeting {October 5 Sunday Gospel}

Monday, September 29, 2014

It's already time to get ready for Sunday!

Things have seemed to get really hectic lately with the start of school, sports, and other activities.  It has been a challenge for us to schedule a night each week for our family meetings.  I really have to think it out well in advance to carve out that time, but it has been so worth it!  

We are far better prepared for church on Sunday, and Grace has been asking after Sunday, "what's our next verse?"  She is a little sponge!  There is also few things cooler than listening to your 5 year old recite John 3:16 and explain its meaning.  Winning!

I spent a lot of time sifting through various websites to compile the prep materials for this Sunday, October 5.  Be sure to check out any links, as some of them give great background information on the readings.  I am certainly no theologian, so they have been incredibly helpful in understanding the deeper meanings of these biblical passages that probably sound like another language to our kids....and to me!

So here it is:

Have a wonderful family meeting!


Catholic Family Meeting {September 28 Sunday Gospel}

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A few weeks ago my hubby, Matt, and I started weekly family meetings to prepare our family for Sunday mass.  I posted all about how I started it here.  It has been such a blessing!  We are far better prepared for mass each week, and Grace (5) gets so excited to "meet".  I'm also really impressed with how well she has been memorizing the scripture verse of the week.

I am still figuring out the best way to plan and deliver this family meeting, as I want it to be relatively easy to plan but fruitful, especially for the kids.  I have been using the slideshows that I shared as an outline to make sure we include all the important elements, like prayers, readings, activities, etc., and I have done some tweaking.

Since I am doing all this already, I figured I would just share these weekly Catholic Family Meeting slideshows with all of you.  

All you have to do is open them and go through it with your family.  You will probably want to preview them in advance to be sure you are familiar with the focus of the weekly readings.

So here is the first official Our Catholic Family Meeting slideshow for the meeting leading up to this Sunday, September 28. 

In the future I will try to get the slideshows posted a little earlier in the week, so you can have your meeting on whatever day works best for your family.

I hope you have a blessed family meeting!


Building our domestic church and starting weekly family meetings

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

"The family is, so to speak, the domestic church.  In it parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of the faith to their children..." - Dogmatic Constitution of the Church

I want our home to truly be a "domestic church".  Over the last few years, we've incorporated the ideas listed by the USCCB here for making our home and family a domestic church, and they have made a big difference with both us as parents and with the children.  In fact, just having crucifixes on the walls has led the kids to constantly find crosses and mention Jesus when we are out and about.  Although these ideas have worked well, we have been meaning to do a better job of preparing the kids for mass by discussing the readings in advance.

I'd heard a couple years ago about how the LDS (Mormon) Church has something called Family Home Evening, which is a special family night once a week that includes prayer, scripture, and family bonding time.  This is such an awesome idea, and I want to start something like it (a Catholic version) with my own family.

The Catholic Church doesn't have its own structured program, but after searching, I did find this Family Catechesis program from The Apostolate for Family Consecration.  There are some great materials here (especially the discussion guides that you can access by clicking English Set A, B, or C), but I think this program may be a little much for our family of young children (5 and 2 years old).  

So I decided to take some of the basic ideas found in the program and tweak it to create a simpler format for our family that hopefully won't take too much time or effort to prepare for each week. 

For easy reuse and to limit paper, I created a simple slideshow that includes pages for each main part of the weekly family meeting or "domestic church".  I plan on keeping one as a template and typing into it each week.  

This is what I'm going to use this week for our first meeting:

Here are some basics on how we will use it, some of which come from the Family Catechesis program described above:
  • Opening Prayer 
    • Start with spontaneous prayer asking for the Holy Spirit's guidance
    • End with the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be
  • Liturgical Calendar
    • State whether it is Ordinary Time, Advent, Christmas, Lent, etc.
    • Tell about any feastdays in the upcoming week.
    • Read the readings for the week, which can be found here.
    • When preparing you may also want to watch the video reflection for the Sunday's readings, which can be found in the left sidebar.
  • Family Activity
    • This can be anything that relates to the scripture readings, like videos, children's books, crafts, coloring pages, a family outing, planning a service project, baking, etc.
    • I am making sure whatever we choose to do is not simply fluff, like coloring a sheep because it was in the story.  I really want to teach the meat of the story, and this can be done in lots of fun ways.
    • Some ideas can be found at
  • Scripture Verse of the Week
    • Choose a part of one of the readings or a related bible quote to focus on for the week, and maybe even memorize.
    • We will be displaying it on a Weekly Verse chalkboard frame that I'm in the process of making.
  • Closing Prayer
    • Start with a spontaneous prayer related to the week's focus.
    • Every member of the family can add petitions, which can be added to a family prayer board
    • Could include common prayers (Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be) or a special prayer from a saint.

If you're interested in having your own family meetings, feel free to use the template below.  I believe you can edit it by clicking the settings gear and then download as PPTX.  

I'm sure I will be improving this as we go along, but I'd also love to hear any suggestions or how your family does family meetings.

The Trinity for Kids

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

holy-trinityHoly Trinity Sunday is coming up this weekend, so I decided to teach my five year old about the Trinity.  To be honest, up until this point I have avoided going too in depth with her on the Trinity because it is a very deep concept and difficult to comprehend, even for adults!  But it is a core teaching and this is a great opportunity to prepare her to better understand what she will learn at church this Sunday.  

To educate myself on the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity I looked here at Catholic Culture (which is such a great website!).

Here are some of the ways I plan on teaching my little girl about the Trinity:

Read about the Holy Trinity

I like the explanation that this bulletin provides on the left side, as it is clear and to the point.  The dot-to-dot on the right will create one of the symbols of the Trinity (some of which are included below).  Just ignore or change the date on it, and you are good as gold!
The Kids' Bulletin Trinity Sunday
Printable Trinity Kids' Bulletin
The Kids' Bulletin

Discuss symbols of the Trinity

The following are some symbols used to describe or illustrate the Trinity.  

Trinity Symbols
Catholic Resources

This first one is more kid-friendly version of the Shield of the Trinity, which has been used for hundreds of years.  You can paste it into a word document, print, and have your child color it as a poster or banner for decoration.

Teaching With TLC

The shamrock is also a symbol of the Trinity that was introduced by St. Patrick in Ireland.  The one here can be printed, and your child can attach the labels of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit where they belong.

Trinity (Triquetra)
Triquetra Explanation Christianity

I've seen this Triquetra before, usually as tattoos actually, but didn't know that it is a symbol of the Trinity.  You learn something new everyday!

Use objects to build a concrete understanding

The concept of the Trinity is difficult for kids (and adults) to conceive of because it is beyond our human understanding.  Using objects, in this case water, an egg, or apple to provide examples of how something can be 3 at the same time as 1.  Of course, this can be an oversimplification of the enormity of God, so I'll be sure to emphasize the deeper points, as well.

Ideas for Teaching the Trinity With Objects
Global Post

Eat pretzels!

I'd heard that pretzels symbolize arms crossed in prayer, but they can also symbolize the Trinity.  We're going to be snacking on some pretzels this week!

A craft pretzel made of clay models the Trinity with each compartment representing God in three persons; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Pretzel Explains the Trinity
Jesus Did It All

Make Trinity crafts

Here are a couple simple crafts from Catholic Icing that can be done to help kids understand this complex idea.
printable trinity craft for St. Patrick's day that folds open
Printable Trinity Shamrock Craft
Catholic Icing
Simple Trinity Triangle Craft
Catholic Icing

Read bible stories about the Holy Trinity

There are several passages in the bible that tell explicitly of the Trinity.  

One of the best stories to teach this is the baptism of Jesus in Matthew 3:13-17.  The following is a video that details the events leading up to and including Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist, the descent of the Holy Spirit as a dove, and God speaking.  If you want just the events of Jesus' baptism, start the video at 19:30.

Another passage I love comes from 2 Corinthians 13:13 "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you."  That would be a great quote to frame and hang up!

Hopefully my Grace and I will at least try a few of these ideas out this week.  May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you!
- Jessica