Prayer is essential in the life of a disciple. Time together is essential in the life of a family. So why not combine the two? Praying together as a family, in fact, is one of the most effective ways to hand on the Faith to our children. The Daily Feast is the perfect way to make prayer a meaningful habit in our families' lives.
In the evening, after a hard day’s work, sitting down with our spouse and children and a Rosary or other devotional is one of the best things we could possibly do, not only for ourselves, but for our families. Or start the day out right by gathering at the table, our children’s heads bowed in prayer, little voices stumbling along the prayers we know so well. Prayer brings us together. It gives us that time in the day to step back away from everything and praise the Lord for all the wonderful things He gives to us.
What is The Daily Feast?
The Daily Feast is a great way to share prayer time with family. The Daily Feast is a compilation of synthetic prayer and memory work aimed at teaching our children to pray. It is quite literally a “feast” for the mind! The Daily Feast is a system of prayers best incorporated into your morning prayer and/or evenings (or spread throughout both). If encouraged from a young age, this could build to be habitual for your children throughout their lives. This would fit wonderfully into morning time. Before the busy-ness of the day begins, gathering together for prayer and connection is a wonderful day to cultivate connection amongst your family.
The Daily Feast is comprised of a handful of components that, together, only take about 5-10 minutes to move through.
A ‘heart prayer’ is simply a prayer from your own heart. This is a prayer of your own making praising the Lord and presenting our petitions. Demonstrate this to your children, they may need a little help! Thanking the Lord for the day, anything that comes to mind is okay!
I’ll often ask my children to include what they’re grateful for and what or who they would like to pray for. The answers are typically humorous (how often they are thankful for candy!), but it helps produce a habit of thankfulness and praise first in prayer.
These are the traditional prayers from the Church, such as Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, etc. These are great to incorporate into Morning Time for memorization/recitation.
As your children get older, they can learn longer prayers such as Saint Patrick’s Breastplate or the Divine Praises. If your family prays the Liturgy of the Hours, it would fit wonderfully here.
This part of The Daily Feast initiates them firmly into the rich and beautiful depository of prayer that the Catholic Church offers us.
Scripture Memory Verses
This method also emphasizes Scripture memorization, no matter how old the child is. Committing Scripture to memory helps our children fill their storehouses of Truth, setting a firm foundation for their worldview as they grow and encounter various trials and questions.
Verses such as Psalm 23, Luke 4:47, and Hebrews 4:12 are wonderful places to begin.
Want more on Scripture? Check out our post Memorizing Scripture Verses with Your Kids (Why + Where to Start).
Sharing in the rich text of the Word of God is a wonderful way for your family to connect. Over time, these stories will become more and more familiar, allowing your family to share a treasury of Truth. It is good to add to your morning time basket, but can be explored all the time, weekday or weekend.
Singing is a great memorization tool; once a song is stuck in your head it never really leaves! Catholic hymn study and memorization is a great go-to for connection and beauty.
Some good hymns to start with would be Ave Maria, Holy, Holy, Holy, or the Tantum Ergo.
Liturgical Living/Feast Days
A dazzling finale for your daily feast, liturgical living books such as Around the Year with the Von Trapp Family or The Lazy Liturgical are a great fit. A liturgical living book will walk you through the year liturgically and is a great thing to include day to day, not just on school days.
There is a feast day every day of the week, so taking the time to pray to that particular Saint, or perhaps reading about said Saint, is a good habit to get into.
Want more on Liturgical Living? Check out our post, Our Favorite Liturgical Living Resources.
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A Blessing for the Entire Family
The Daily Feast is a beautiful and thoughtful way we can include prayer and worship in our homes. It can be as simple as you’d like, including things like a Saint coloring book. Memorizing a Scripture verse close to your child’s heart can make the whole thing so much more immersive.
The Daily Feast is good for us in so many ways, too. This method brings our families together at the table through prayer and brings us to the feet of Jesus. It is a meaningful and thoughtful way of including the Lord, the Saints, and Scripture into your life and the life of your family.
Have you begun incorporating the Daily Feast in your family’s rhythm of life? What are the benefits you’ve seen as you draw closer to the Lord together?