Out and about

or: Field Trips and Awesome Holy Thursday Traditions

First of all from an email I got last Saturday:

We took a great field trip today to expand on the Family Formation lesson on the Eastern Rite Catholic churches. There are four Catholic churches within one block of each other in Minneapolis! We visited them and went to Mass at the Ukrainian one. They kids loved to see all the differences and beauty of each church.
St.Boniface (Roman rite)
Church of All Saints (Roman with Latin Masses)
St.Constantine (Ukrainian Catholic)-Very Beautiful & even has a little museum
St. Maron (Maronite-Lebanese Catholic)

Next, I know of a couple families with wonderful Holy Thursday traditions:

Our family has a great tradition on Holy Thursday with these parishes. After attending Mass (at St. Boniface for us, since that was my mom’s home parish) we walk to each of the parishes for a brief time of adoration. We also include St. Cyril & Methodius since that was my dad’s parish; these days this is a Hispanic parish, as well as Holy Cross (Polish.)

This has gotten harder over the years, since adoration doesn’t continue late into the night anymore. Even as a child we would have to run (literally!) to St. Constantine first because they closed the earliest, but well worth it to see all of the gold! More recently we have taken to driving to each parish, and I would definitely check out each individual website for their adoration times to plan your route.

We haven’t done this since our son started college a few years ago, but it is one of my favorite childhood memories and family traditions.

And finally, this idea from a family who keeps the traditional practice of visiting seven church on Holy Thursday:

We’ve kept it simple  and go with the theme of “stay and watch with me” and just spend a few minutes in adoration at each church praying on the Holy Thursday and Good Friday themes. Obviously it’s easiest to do this in a metro area where lots of churches are close together, and there is some planning required to figure out how late churches will be open. Finally, we’ve added ice cream at McDonalds as an extra and fun incentive if we finish in time to enjoy it before the fast of Good Friday (since at that point Lent is over).

Fr. Rocky on Relevant Radio said that was his family’s tradition and it certainly does provide some extra inspiration. My kids love this every year, and though they are tired when we get home they are always eager to do it again. I’ve been amazed at how many others seem to do this tradition as well when we are out. There always seems to be a steady stream in and out of some churches.

All of these were done with Family Formation aged children and just a little planning!

For more information on these Holy Thursday traditions, go here, here, or here (scroll down to the Customs section).

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