Keeping the Sabbath

A question for “Fr. Z.” at “What does the Prayer Really Say” regarding how much of Mass is necessary to attend when caring for a young toddler got me thinking about Sundays.

Around here, Sunday Mass often seems like a rare privilege. There was a Sunday recently where we actually made it on time, and I could barely remember what to do.

But since a) parents of young children and b) those who are seriously ill are exempt from Sunday obligation, I always figure that whatever we can get in, counts.

Anyway, because of this, and becuase of our desire to live the Gospel as fully as we can, we usually try to make Sunday holy in other ways, to both make up for our struggles with Mass and go beyond the Minimum Daily Requirements of following the Commandments.

Here are the usual guidelines for our Sundays:
1. No shopping or dining out. The latter is the most frequently violated, but usually only if we *have* attended evening Mass, and there’s no time or energy left to cook. The other exception is Sundays when something happeens like someone’s glasses break.
2. No secular TV before the evening. _Veggietales_ or _Superbook_ is fine. EWTN better. Usually, I put together a playlist of religious (ranging from Gregorian chant to Bach to classic hymns to contemporary Christian), and/or instrumental music.
3. I put up or the St. Martin of Tours webcam (sometimes both) on the living room HDTV/computer screen.
4. We try to read the readings at home :definitely the Sunday readings of the week (lately, we’ve been listening to the NAB podcast). But, as frequent readers of this blog know, I like to explore the Byzantine and Tridentine lectinoaries, as well as the alternate years of the 3-year cycle.
5. We always say lauds and vespers on Sundays, even if we’re bad other days.
6. Of course, any other devotions we can fit in around the kids.
7. Since it is the only day that “nothing else is going on,” we usually try to watch some family TV later on Sunday evening, before the kids go to bed. This can be secular.

Any other suggestions/family traditions for keeping Sundays?


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