Key #4: Family Rituals and Traditions

One of our greatest gifts is a rich multicultural and intergenerational faith family. Children worship and serve alongside adults, and adults learn beside (and from) Calvary’s children. We do not believe that the seeds of faith are best planted by the “spiritual experts.” First of all, we don’t claim to be experts but rather followers, learning as we go. We believe that you as parents (and grandparents!)  are best suited to nurture the faith of your children, and we want to put resources in your hands so that you can take advantage of the opportunities that arise during the day to weave faith into the fabric of your family.

christmas tree decoratingWhen you ask adults to recall their best childhood experiences, they’ll frequently recall events involving family traditions or rituals.  Family mealtimes, holiday get-togethers and nightly bedtime routine are examples of rituals and traditions that make deep and lasting impressions on children.  Such rituals and traditions serve a number of important purposes:

*They give rhythm, shape and order to our lives * They connect us with others, giving us a sense of who we are and where we belong *They reflect and enact values, reminding us of what is important.

Children need to hear the stories of their family’s past: traditions, adventures, mistakes, and “game-changers.” These stories give children a sense of their family’s identity, and provides continuity and stability during what seems to many of us to be unstables times.

From a faith perspective, rituals and traditions are no less important.  In fact, they sit at the very heart of the Christian faith.  Sunday worship services, the Lord’s Supper and Baptism are each God-given rituals and traditions that bond us into God’s family and remind us of whose we are and what is truly important.  Within your home, the rituals and traditions that you practice play a vital role in the sharing of faith with one another.  Through faith-grounded family rituals and traditions, God breaks into your daily lives, reminding us of His love and grace, and calling us to realign our lives to his will and purposes.  

family walkFamily rituals and traditions can be divided into a number of categories

  • Daily and weekly rituals and traditions.
  • Church-year related rituals and traditions
  • Community-related rituals and traditions.
  • Annual family rituals and traditions
  • Occasional family rituals and traditions.

One way to engage this fourth “key” to faith is to make a list of the rituals and traditions that are already part of your family life.  Think about how you might “tweak” these from a faith perspective..how can you weave God into your daily routine, your family dinners, and your holiday traditions.