The families we met with over the summer for our Summer with the Saints had such a great time that we decided to continue throughout the year on the First Friday of the month. We all meet for morning Mass before heading out to the park (and hopefully one of our parish's building come colder weather!) to learn and celebrate something to do with that particular month.
My family had just come in from a long week on the road (though fun!) and it was a miracle we all were up and raring to go come Friday. Many thanks to the mom who took on this month! Mass was just fine. I find I actually prefer going to a weekday Mass over a Sunday Mass (no, not because it is shorter!) but because I find that it helps my children: they can hear/see more without the big crowd distraction, which leads to less distracting for them - and for others - and the time frame for the kids is perfect for their wiggling bodies.
Afterwards, we all gathered up at the park to have breakfast (in our case, second breakfast, the little hobbits). The kids played some because all the kids seemed a little crazy. Was it the weather? It was hot - again! Or was it the disruption to their school day?
But then the kids gathered round and we had a little celebration for Mary's birthday (celebrated on September 8th). The kids made holy cards as well as little prayer bracelets for them to pray "The Garland of the Holy Child Mary." The bracelets were made of pipe cleaner and beads (12 of one color for the Holy Mary's and 4 of another color for The Glory Be's - we're missing a bead in the picture I see!). To top it off, a blue jello "cake" was lit with a candle, we all sang happy birthday to Mary and had a small cup of blue jello. My kids did not think it was from an alien planet this time (though Skipper may argue that point a bit!).
The Garland of the Holy Child Mary
Holy Virgin Mary, Lily of the Blessed Trinity, honoring your
Immaculate Conception, we pray, through the merits of your
childhood, that all youth may give glory to God by the purity and
holiness of their lives. (Say 3 Hail Marys and a Glory Be)
Holy Virgin Mary, Morning Star, honoring your birth, we pray,
through the merits of your childhood, that parents may foster
religious vocations in their children, by their own noble and saintly
lives. (Say 3 Hail Marys and a Glory Be)
Holy Virgin Mary, Cause of our Joy, honoring your sweet name, we
pray, through the merits of your childhood for the sanctification of
priests and religious. (Say 3 Hail Marys and a Glory Be)
Holy Virgin Mary, Seat of Wisdom, honoring your Presentation in the
Temple, we pray, through the merits of your childhood, for
vocations to the priesthood and the religious life. (Say 3 Haily Marys
and a Glory Be)
Let us pray: Holy Virgin Mary, Model of Perfection, through the
merits of your childhood, obtain for God's Church on earth fervent
priests and religious and a truly apostolic laity that by their love and
devoted service all may be united with Him forever in heaven.