I am being commanded to rest today by my dear husband. I will blog soon about out eventful trip to the ER and the passing of our little miscarried baby yesterday. For now, while I bum around the house on my couch I am finally getting to sharing our great Lenten family devotional we did this year.
Normally, when one thinks of “stations” during Lent, one thinks of the Stations of the Cross. These are wonderful for praying with during Lent. We decided to do another type of station this Lent: the stational churches of Rome. The Pope used to celebrate Mass in a different Roman church everyday for all of Lent; there are also stations for other liturgical seasons. The Pontifical North American College still follows the tradition of attending Mass at each of the stational churches. There is a more detailed history of the tradition on their site. Since we are not in Rome (though maybe we will be blessed with a Rome semester at some point), we are marking the stations on a map.
Then I went to the New Liturgical Movement and found their posts on the Stations from a few years ago and complied a list and photos of each stational church. I also made another document that has teeny tiny photos with the comparable number from the first document. These I printed, cut out, and “laminated” in clear packing tape (I like to think of that as being resourceful).
Every day of Lent we took out our document that told us what the stational church was that day and read about the church from our Lenten volume of Dom Gueranger’s Liturgical Year (St. Thérèse of Liseux and her family used his works).
We used the map in the St. Andrew Missal to find the location of each church and then stuck them to the map with sticky tack. Well, stick tack mixed with pink silly putty. Some child of ours got into those two items last year, and may have needed a hair cut because of it.
It was neat to “travel” around Rome during Lent, especially knowing that the NAC seminarians and priests were actually celebrating Mass at the stational church each day. The kids loved gazing at the map, looking at the pictures of churches, and discussing how the martyr saints died. Even F got in on it and said “I SEE! I SEE!” until we showed her the pictures.
Now, if you want to see a real family tour of Rome, I highly recommend my friend Mary’s posts from Holy Week, Easter Week, and the canonizations of Pope St. John Paul II and Pope St. John XXIII. I linked her April archives because she has about two weeks worth of awesomeness to look through.