Feast of the Holy Family

The Feast of the Holy Family

Opening Prayer:

Good and Gracious God, from the very beginning of time you made man and woman to live in loving relationship with you and one another. The family, created to be a reflection of your fruitful love, is meant to continue your mission of love in the world. Be with us today as we reflect on the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, who are models of faith for each of us. Help our families to be holy, even in the midst of struggles and challenges, knowing wherever two or three are gathered in your name, you are present. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

 

Reading: Or any of the readings from the Feast of the Holy Family

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Colossians (3:12-17):

Brothers and sisters:
Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
if one has a grievance against another;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
And over all these put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another,
singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

The Word of the Lord:

Thanks be to God.

 

Video Song for Reflection:

Holy Family by Danielle Rose (words below): http://safeshare.tv/w/LOtcERYKTc

 

O loving Father, make our home
A Nazareth where you may reign,
A holy family of love
Where Jesus’ manger lays.
Help us to stay together, Lord,
In joy and sorrow as we pray,
Teach us to see Christ in disguise
Upon each other’s face.
Where two or more are gathered, you reside.
Mary, be our Mother;
Joseph, be our guide
To make your Son the center of our lives.
Jesus, may your name be glorified.
We gather round our table blessed
To share the Heavenly Bread He gave
To strengthen us that we might serve
Our family with grace.
To love each other as you love,
With humble hearts and patient faith.
And to forgive each other’s faults
As Jesus Christ forgave.
Help us to take whatever you give
And give whatever you take from us,
With smiles upon our faces
As we place our trust in you.
Music and lyrics written by Danielle Rose, December 2005. Copyright © 2007 Danielle Rose Skorich, published by World Library Publications, www.wlpmusic.com 3708 River Rd, Suite 400, Franklin Park, IL 60131-2158. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

 (Leaders) Please take time to present a short background on the Feast of the Holy Family (see websites below): Although there has been a popular devotion to the Holy Family since the seventeenth century, it was declared an official feast day in 1921. “The main purpose of the Feast is to present the Holy Family as the model for all Christian families, and for domestic life in general.”

Lead into the session video with these group discussion questions:

  1. What does the term “family” mean to you?
  2. Do you think family life is easier or harder today than in Jesus’ time?

Session Video: Is Your Family Holy?

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are your images of The Holy Family?
  2. What are the areas in your life where you tend toward perfectionism? How can this be hurtful to a family?
  3. Name three small ways your family experienced holiness this past week.
  4. What is one way you will try to live more fully as a church of the home—as the domestic church?
  5. Do you agree with the statement, “Everybody’s got something?” If so, what difference does this make?
  6. The Church welcomes, wants, and needs you to further the mission of Christ; in specific ways, how can the Church help your family to pass on the faith?

 

 

Closing Prayer: Holy Family Prayer

Let us pray with expectant faith for the growth of the faith of our families and the transformation of the Archdiocese of Dubuque.

 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

in contemplating your example of love,

we wish to follow your way of holiness.

 

Holy Family of Nazareth,

may each family of the Archdiocese of Dubuque

discover, embrace, and live its true vocation

as the domestic church—the place of intimate communion and prayer.

 

Holy Family of Nazareth,

may each home become an authentic school of the Gospel,

may each table provide rich and satisfying nourishment, and

may each hearth extend compassionate love and mercy.

 

Holy Family of Nazareth,

make us every mindful of each family’s call to holiness

and beauty.

 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, give us the desire to make our families more like yours. Help each family realize that family matters and our mission is love.

 

We ask this through Christ, our Lord.

Amen.