Our Stations on Fridays have been said with friends again this year. I write this post more to document our time than to share an idea. Hopefully I will remember to re-post a version of this idea to inspire others to copy us as we have copied others in their great tradition.
When we first moved to Houston years ago we were encouraged by a set of friends to start a Stations group. It was a little off putting at first because in my group of friends there were several families that all met together. We were never invited to join them just encouraged to start our own group.
After a few years of watching friends gather together were were invited to join a group that was in their second year. The idea is that you form a group of about 5 to 10 families. During the Fridays of Lent you gather at one of the homes and say the stations together as a group. It is much more child friendly than the stations said at the church. After the stations you share a meatless meal together. This is a potluck style meal with the theme being devised from that weeks hosts.
With a few big Catholic families your group will grow quickly. It is hard because you want to invite everyone but you just can't.
Your group can use which ever version works best for you. One of the first families in our group purchased a group of 14 prints of the stations, candles and some push pens. The host families post the stations around their back yard and we walk from station to station, blowing out the candles as we end that station.
We use a child version of the stations printed in a simple book. They were not too expensive to buy and it works great for our group. The stations are simple. The kids can read and lead the stations if they want. This serves the purpose of letting the stations become part of the children's faith as well and not just what we as parents push on them.I love watching the children grow from year to year. We were not able to be a part of the group the past couple of years so getting back to it was great this year. The kids also enjoy inviting a friend as well. They love to share this others.
For the adults it is a wonderful time to share in our faith with each other. We all love to build friendships based in our beliefs. We love to share with each other the joys and sorrows of our lives and of parenthood.
I hope that I can remember to articulate this before Lent begins next year to remind you to find a group and gather together in the same way.
For now I just want to "document" our fun times with friends in which we shared our faith during the Fridays this past season of Lent.
Our meal ideas went like this:
Week One: Breakfast foods Hosted by the S Family
Week Two: Meatless Pastas Hosted by the Tomball D Family
Week Three: Soups and Sandwiches Hosted by the K Family
Week Four: Baked Potatoe Bar Hosted by the S Family (again)
Week Five: Cheese Pizza Night Hosted by the other S Family
Week Six: Meatless Chili Hosted by the Texas T Family
So much fun, too much fun to meet on Good Friday. Most of us like to be a part of our parish programs for Holy Week so we don't have plans for this week.
As it turned out we never served treats this year. We stuck with just main dishes. We have talked about getting together at least one Friday during the Easter season and have a huge treat bar, we hope to include all those things we gave up: chocolate, sweets, coffee, etc.
Something else that I love about our Fridays is that the parents build relationships with the teens and the children. There is nothing more important in a teens faith growth than to see their parents and other goal moms and dads enjoying their faith.
So much fun! Thanks to each of the families that were involved and welcomed us into their homes and lives to pray with us!