It is sometimes hard to celebrate families when so many families seem so complex and so many people have complex feelings about their families. It is good to celebrate on the Sunday after Christmas another complex family, that of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Coming to a mature acceptance of our families, those in which we grew up and those in which we live is an important part of Christian living as the non Scriptural reading from Glenstal (see below) describes “We have to break with our families if we are to find ourselves.” It is also important to avoid sugary sentimentality about the Holy Family themselves and to name the ambiguity and complexity of families in our liturgy. In many of the churches I celebrate in there are no nuclear families at all and in most of the schools I worked in only a handful of children lived in traditional families.
This celebration which is in the Roman Rite made it into the Church of England’s Promise of his Glory, but, sadly, not into Common Worship. Nonetheless it is worth celebrating and here are some resources. One day I must type up and organise these!
Lectionary, Intercessions and Collect for the Office
Music and Texts for the Office from my own music collection
Texts for the Office in the People’s Companion to the Breviary
Texts for the Office in Benedictine Daily Prayer
The monks at Glenstal in their excellent Glenstal Book Of Readings for the Season have this helpful non-scriptural reading: