It's the third commandment—the final one pertaining to our love of God. Keeping holy the sabbath is doable when it comes to getting to Mass on Sundays. But the rest that God commands on the sabbath for our benefit? Not so easy to attain, especially in family life.
The Sabbath is a Gift to Us
The challenge in reclaiming the sabbath as a family is that there is a lot going on and a lot to be done. Sports spill into Sundays, the people always need to eat, laundry still needs tended, and who likes starting Monday with a messy house?
These are legitimate duties and can certainly influence how we approach Sundays. But with a few tweaks, the sabbath can become more restful than it has been for everyone in your family.
How to Reclaim the Sabbath as Family
What are some thoughtful ways we can prep on Saturday in order to clear our Sunday?
Power Down on Saturday
- Prepare Sunday meals. Any parent can relate to this! Preparing food for the coming day makes it easier to relax and enjoy the Lord’s Day.
- Plan the week ahead. Everyone understands the frantic filling out of the planner the night before Monday. Don’t torment yourself. Plan ahead! Fill out things such as sports practice, date night, children’s play dates, and meal prep.
- Clean and reset the house. While some light tidying might be necessary on Sunday, you shouldn’t have to worry about deep cleaning for the coming week.
- Fold laundry. Folding clothes and packing them away takes a ‘load’ off your mind. Doing this will ensure you have clothes for the upcoming week.
- Packing school lunches for Monday. Even if it's a Lunchable, making sure that school lunch is squared away makes for an easy Monday morning and avoids a Sunday night hustle.
- Answering urgent work emails. With the week crammed full of school and work and Sunday as the day of rest, Saturday is the perfect time for answering those emails building up in your inbox.
- Turning off phone notifications. While this might seem hard, it gives you the chance to enjoy the weekend without the constant pinging from text messages, social media, and news updates and more time enjoying your spouse and children.
- Laying out/ironing clothes for Mass. Having church clothes already ironed for Sunday takes away the stress of waking up early to prepare clothes.
Rest Up on Sunday
- Plan a fun outdoor adventure with the family. Go to a park, play hide-and-go seek, take a nature hike. Spend whatever time you can outdoors.
- Select a game to play. Pick a board game like Monopoly, or, for younger kids, Candy Land. Games like Spoons are fun for all and only require cards and kitchen spoons.
- Choose a book you want to read and set it on the kitchen counter. Laying out a couple picture books to read gets in some quiet time. Read the picture books before nap time or before bedtime. Make it a family event for young and old.
- Schedule an extra 10 minutes of prayer to talk with the Lord about the upcoming week. Whether it takes place at 5 a.m. or 11 p.m., extra prayer time on Sunday can lighten our hearts and order our worship. Take time praying to God about what lies ahead.
Sunday is a day of rest, so let’s try to honor it.
What are your Saturday wind-down methods? Any suggestions of your own? Share them below!