Summer vacation gives us an opportunity to build togetherness and unity in our families. As St John Chrysostom said, the family is like an icon of the church. Our church service is centered upon a liturgical partaking of bread and wine–the body and blood of our Lord–so it makes sense to begin strengthen our families through prioritizing and enjoying simple meals together.
- Take advantage of the season’s fresh veggies and fruits and cook together. Planning and preparing a meal brings people together, even if things get messy, or don’t end up perfect. Simply accomplishing a task together build bonds, just like the work of prayer in the liturgy brings us closer to one another.
- Make your table attractive. Think of how beautiful the altar is and take a little time to create a simple but lovely setting to draw your family together.
- Teach your children a routine prayer before and after each meal to give thanks to God who gives us all things. Try singing one to keep it fresh. A few sources for mealtime prayers can be found HERE and HERE.
- When you’re at church, you mind your manners and show kindness, right? Show the same to your family; even when it’s not well received, you are planting seeds. Remember: part of those manners involves dispensing with electronic devices during this special time, even for adults.
- After the meal is cleaned up, relax together. Light a candle, look at the stars. By this time, maybe barriers are down a little and open conversation can happen, especially if you take the time to be quiet and listen.
Angels must be very busy, but in the Hospitality of Abraham icon we see them, a representation of the Trinity, just sitting at Abraham’s table, resting in that moment. Create these kinds of relaxing, sweet mealtime moments for your family and your children will treasure the memories forever.