25 March 2012

weekly family meetings re-visited

A year ago, I posted about our Weekly Family Meetings. I wanted to give you an update about how this is going. You can read about it in detail here, but the basic premise is that every Monday night after dinner, we have a family meeting inspired by the Mormons' Family Home Evenings (but with our own Catholic spin, of course).

We have been doing really good in regard to consistency.  The only ones we've missed are when B has been out of town or when we decided to go out for dinner on a Monday night.  I just called the latter "date nights" and let them substitute for it, since it rarely happens--even before we had a baby, it was rare.  

I'll just go one-by-one through the agenda and give a progress report.
  1. Weekly highs and lows.  B still hates this part and still refuses to participate.  Sometimes now, he'll give Cora's highs and lows as a joke.  To work around his refusal, I'll often just ask him about something we did together and say something like, "You enjoyed that, right?"  This occasionally leads into a nice discussion about whatever.
  2. Schedules.  This is still nice to re-hash every week so I know we're on the same page.
  3. Issues/Conflict Resolution.  Most of the time, neither of us have conflicts since we seem to resolve them sooner, but there have been some persistent issues that get brought back up.  That's when you know they're important!
  4. Bible Study/Lesson.  We're still picking a book of the bible and reading it.  I wish I had written down which ones we have done.  I remember doing Proverbs, Revelation, Job, Jonah,  We can usually do about 6-7 chapters in one meeting and then just do that each week until it's done.
  5. Rosary and/or Prayers and Praises. We have essentially combined this with #4.  We either do the bible OR a rosary now.  Neither of us are huge rosary devotees (working on that!), but at least we're getting more comfortable with it.  During Advent, each week we did a different rosary (different set of mysteries) and read the full scripture that went with each mystery.  I really liked that.
  6. Words of Affirmation.  Probably my favorite part.  And now we each give words of affirmation to baby Cora, too!
  7. Treats!  Sometimes this is just ice cream from the freezer, but it's still a good way to end a meeting!
The other day I decided to add something each week to our meeting.  I guess it will go before #4 because I don't think B would be interested at all after the Bible stuff.  Basically, I want to do a small prayer using the ACTS form that I learned a few years back.  Thanks to this acronym, it has stuck with me!
A - Adoration.  Tell God how much you love him!
C - Contrition.  Ask for forgiveness from your sins.
T - Thanksgiving.  Say what you're thankful for.
S - Supplication.  Ask God for help for you or a friend (or an enemy).

My only beef with this form is that I often flow from Adoration to Thanksgiving because they seem intertwined to me.  I find it really hard to tell God how much I love him without thanking him at the same time.  So I'll make the Thanksgiving part 3 earthly things that I'm thankful for.  I hopefully can get B on board with contributing at least something to this prayer, but I know it will take time.  Neither of us grew up in a house that did anything more than pray before meals and go to mass together, so I can understand his hesitation.  But at least we're trying!



  1. I love the idea of weekly time together with family that is intentional--not just by chance.

    Also, I love the ACTS prayer form (thank you for sharing!). I can see how it would be hard to extricate Thanksgiving from Adoration, but perhaps it's not too bad with them separate... you get two chances to "praise," and you also get the added subconscious benefit of feeling "praise" weighted equally (50/50) with Contrition and Supplication.

  2. Cat,
    First off...congratulations on your new baby!!

    Second, these weekly meetings are such a great idea. Marcus & I do something similar, but not as structured or consistent/focused. I especially like the affirmations & treat part :)

    My family also were "quiet Catholics" and never prayed much together outside of meals/before bed. Marcus and I are working hard to make our home a place of public & private prayer & worship. Sometimes it does seem strange, but I know it is the right thing to do.

    God bless you & your family

  3. Love, love, love this idea! And I love that your including baby Cora too. :)

    I just learned about the ACTS method of praying a few weeks ago and I'm with you about combining Adoration and Thanksgiving. It feels like the two just go together to me too. I'm glad I'm not alone there! :)