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Occasionally, we are asked to speak as a couple on tips for living as a faithfully Catholic married couple and family. First, we look around and make sure they are actually talking to us. We have, after all, only been married three years and have two very small children. It isn't as though we have a golden anniversary under our belts.
However, as a young family and having both worked in ministry, we do spend a lot of time praying and discerning how to be a Christian witness in the world and how to live in a way that makes our faith the fabric of our family and not just an embellishment. As Catholics, the liturgical life of the Church is something we strive to incorporate into our family prayer life more deeply, and we do love a good ritual!
The Blessing Cup: Prayer Rituals for Families and Groups, written by Rock Travnikar, a Franciscan priest of the province of St. John the Baptist in Cincinatti, provides a simple framework for celebrating daily life in communal prayer. From great celebrations, such as engagements, marriage, births and anniversaries, to the valleys of life, such as death, illness, unemployment, and disaster, The Blessing Cup provides simple prayers to share together as a family.
What I enjoyed most about the collection of rituals was the rich variety of prayers for simple daily events of life as well as ministry. There are rituals for friendship and special needs, for study groups and faith communities. They span the breadth of life experience as families (including prayers for safe vacations, reunions, start of a school year and jobs, and even gardening) as well as celebrations central to our Catholic faith (ordinations, religious vows, liturgical feasts and holy days). The rituals incorporate Sacred Scripture, communal prayer, petitions and the sharing of the blessing cup as a closing.
While the sharing of the cup does not organically fit our family as a ritual, what I also appreciate about this collection is that it can be easily adapted. Instead of a cup (though that is the central ritual as the name suggests), one could have a blessing candle or break bread. It in no way lessens the significance of the prayers and rituals in this book. The framework remains intact.
The Blessing Cup is a wonderful resource for any family or ministry seeking to more intentionally incorporate prayer and praise into celebrating the daily rhythm of life. It provides a constant reminder that we are blessed beyond belief in abundance and in need, so we should praise God in all things.
From The Catholic Company:
This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on The Blessing Cup . The Catholic Company is the best resource for all your seasonal needs such as First Communion gifts as well as ideas and gifts for the special papal Year of Faith.