I'm Lisa Kirk, a wife, mama, writer, and founder. Since 2010, Something Pretty has been home to my favorite memories, reflections, and inspirations. Thanks so much for reading!

Learning to Live Liturgically


Back in November, I listened to an old Fountains of Carrots podcast episode about Advent…and was struck with the humbling realization that not only had I never really paid much attention to Advent besides lighting my Advent candles, I also didn’t want to. The hosts of the podcast discussed not fully decorating their trees, not listening to Christmas music, and keeping seasonal parties and movies to a minimum throughout Advent, focusing instead on traditions centered around preparing and waiting for Christmas. All of those festivities that I’ve come to jump into as soon as I woke up the day after Thanksgiving? They began on December 25, the actual start of the Christmas season in the liturgical calendar.

Ugh, I thought, I don’t want to do that!

And then, God began to work on my heart.

December 2017 was a little crazy for us. After a sweet experience doing an “at-home Christmas” before traveling the year before, we decided to do the same thing again, but the only weekend day that worked out was the 9th. So, we bought and decorated our tree, decked the halls in our house, and gave gifts to each other and Charlie only a week into December. A few weeks later, in New York, coordinating a big family meant we celebrated “Christmas morning” three more times…with December 25th being the last one. Don’t get me wrong, we were so grateful to celebrate each one and had a lot of fun! But, as we drove home a few days later, Dave and I realized we both had a nagging feeling that we had essentially skipped Advent.

We were both raised Catholic and have been committed to our faith for years and years, but for the first time, we found ourselves deeply convicted by the fact that the seasons of the liturgical calendar exist for a reason. God in His infinite wisdom gave us the gift of each season to draw us closer to Him in unique ways, and how many graces and lessons have we been missing by not completely embracing that? How many opportunities to know God more and to glorify Him and thank Him for all He has done, is doing, and will do?

This year, we’re committed to truly living liturgically. To diving into the seasons and feast days that the Catholic Church blesses us with and celebrating them individually. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about this, and how much I hope it sets the tone for the rest of our lives. Since this will very much be informing and inspiring the way we celebrate different holidays throughout the year (something I’ve always loved blogging about!), you’ll be seeing some faith-based traditions incorporated into more posts moving forward. One challenge I’m experiencing so far is that many guides to liturgical living I’ve found are focused on young families (suggestions for children’s books, coloring pages, etc.), and while I will 100% take advantage of that someday, I’m sincerely hoping to discover ways to celebrate well in the season of life I’m in (with traditions that single people and couples without kids could easily adopt as well).

If this is something that interests you or if there is anything in particular you’d like to see on this topic throughout the year, please let me know! I would love to share some great conversations with y’all about it. And, of course, if you have any favorite resources, I’m all ears!






  1. Rachel says:

    Love this post! I would be interested in more posts about this either for couples (/single people) or families. I didn’t grow up particularly living liturgically (although my parents emphasized lent and advent/Christmas, but not much else)… so it helps to get inspiration from others!

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you so much, Rachel! (And thanks again for sharing Catholic All Year with me–gracious, so many resources there!)

  2. Em says:

    Excited for this! :)

  3. Kasia says:

    Love this post! One thing that has helped my husband and I is we now have a tradition (been married for almost 3 years!) of giving up tv for Advent. It helps the season feel “different” — and we find in the chaos of Christmas…we actually enjoy this! Since we have an almost two year old (and one on the way, yay!), most of the “activities” are too old for Xavier anyway. Putting out decorations slowly (tree one weekend, lights another) helped us build up to Christmas :) We also live a few time zones away from each of our families, and so this year, we have made the tradition of opening up gifts to each other and stockings on Jan 1! We figure we will always be home then ;) Can’t wait for these posts — sorry for the long comment :)

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you so much for the long comment! ;) I love reading about what y’all have incorporated into your family for Advent/Christmas and hope you’ll continue to share throughout the year! xoxo

  4. Grace says:

    Hi, Lisa! It’s so great that you’re trying to implement this with your family! We try to do this as much as we can too. There is a blog called showerofroses.blogspot.com that has a lot of good inspiration!

  5. Kristina says:

    This is an amazing goal! Growing up Catholic (and in Germany where many church holidays are also state holidays for example Three Kings Day, Ascension of Jesus and Pentecost) the year has always been structured somewhat according to the liturgical calendar. However, that was something that just was and not something I actively participated in or celebrated. I cannot wait to read how your family will celebrate / live out all the different seasons this year!

  6. Dana says:

    Very exciting! Looking forward to seeing what y’all do and learning more myself.

  7. Darby says:

    This is something that I have not thought about. I am looking forward to hearing more.

  8. Leanne says:

    This is such an encouraging post! I too struggled with an inner battle throughout the advent season between wanting to be penitential and patiently await Christmas day, but also wanting to be joyous and join in the celebrations of the season. I am so excited to learn about how your family celebrates the liturgical seasons this year and am encouraged to do the same in my own family!

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you, Leanne! I’m excited to see what we learn as we dig into this and do our best to live it out!

  9. Rhiannon says:

    I’m excited for this :)

  10. Caroline says:

    I am interested to follow along! After a move, my husband and I recently started a small Anglican church – it’s quite liturgical, which is different from how my both my husband and I grew up (Presbyterian)! I’m curious to see if and how that will shape our season of Lent this year.

  11. […] of the first “big” feast days since Dave and I committed to living more liturgically is a famous one: St. Valentine’s Day. I’ve always LOVED Valentine’s Day […]

  12. mary wilmot says:

    I have lots of resources that I have had to research for work, but this blog is one of my favorites for Catholic families with young children!


  13. […] our home decor simple. This goes along with something I shared a few weeks ago about our goal of living more liturgically–in this case, it means Easter and spring decorations stay packed away until Easter. In this […]


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