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Simple Celebrations for March Feast Days

Celebrations

March feast days feel like such a breath of fresh air amidst the sacrifices and solemnity of Lent! When I sat down to look through the liturgical calendar for the month and choose which feast days we wanted to celebrate (there are SO many, so we celebrate the ones that are the most important or well-known, plus days that have special meaning to our family), it just so happened that they all fell in the second half of the month. I love that this is adding to the anticipation and excitement for the celebration that is to come on Easter!

Like I mentioned at the beginning of the year, intentionally celebrating the liturgical year and different feast days is new to us, and I deeply want these celebrations to become a big part of our family culture as our family grows/grows up. In order to keep things simple and doable, I’ve started approaching feast days by asking three questions:

1. What simple decorations or visual changes can we make to remind us that this day is special?

2. What is something special we can eat (it’s called a feast day, after all!) to celebrate this day?

3. What prayers or devotions can we do to help us grow more deeply in our relationships with God in connection with this day? (I should also mention that the number one way we try to celebrate each feast day is attending Mass–if all our efforts and energy need to go toward that, then that’s the priority.)

I tried out this “system” for the first time for the three March feast days we’ll be celebrating, so I wanted to share what I came up with today!

St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)

Decorate: St. Patrick is well-known for using shamrocks to help explain the Trinity, so it’s no wonder that shamrocks and this feast day go hand in hand. Since the mainstream culture has embraced this particular symbol, it’s not too hard to find pretty (read: not cheesy) shamrock decor with a little bit of digging. I love this serving platter, and this garland is similar to the one that we have. In a pinch, here’s a sweet printable download to frame and display. Perhaps my favorite idea? Check the floral sections of grocery stores for shamrock plants–I found the one pictured above at Whole Foods last year.

Eat: Anything Irish! While St. Patrick himself was not Irish, he lived and preached in Ireland for decades and is beloved as the patron Saint of Ireland. Take a peek back at the Irish dinner party we had for Dave’s birthday last year for a few Irish-inspired recipes we enjoyed. If you have little ones, anything shamrock-shaped (sandwiches, cookies, etc.) is sure to be a hit.

Pray: The Lorica of St. Patrick. It’s long, but so, so beautiful! Here’s a sample: “I arise today through God’s strength to pilot me; God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me…”

Solemnity of St. Joseph (March 19)

Decorate: St. Joseph is frequently depicted in sacred art holding lilies, so I love the idea of a super simple centerpiece using just a few lilies…especially if they’re in a wooden vase, since he was a carpenter! This one is gorgeous.

Eat: St. Joseph’s feast day is particularly beloved in Italy, which is where the custom of eating minestrone soup on March 19 originated. I want to try this recipe, but if you’re short on time, this one only takes half an hour. A handful of sources I read also mentioned zeppole as a traditional treat–this recipe sounds amazing! Honestly, though, I might just pick up a bag of “hot mini” doughnuts at Sola Coffee and call it a day :)

Pray: I LOVED the blog post “The Devil Hates My Husband (and Something I Can Do About It)” on Better than Eden about praying specifically for your husband leading up this feast day. She mentions the St. Joseph novena, which is beautiful and I highly recommend it, but any prayer for your husband or reflection on St. Joseph’s role as Mary’s husband and Jesus’ earthly father would be so meaningful. I fall into the trap far too often of thinking I pray for Dave more often than I am, so looking ahead to this feast day has been a great reminder that as his wife, I’m called to pray for him more than anyone else.

Ideas for celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation

Feast of the Annunciation (March 25)

Decorate: The color blue has been associated with Mary for centuries, so wear something blue or set your table with blue pieces! If you’ve ever seen pictures of our house, it’s probably no surprise that the latter is an easy one for us :) I linked some beautiful blue tableware/linens below that would be perfect for this and other Marian feast days throughout the year.

Eat: Here’s a funny story: waffles, of all things, are traditionally eaten on the Feast of the Annunciation because in Swedish, “Vårfrudagen” (Our Lady’s Day) sounds a lot like “Våffeldagen” (waffle day). At some point, it looks like the miscommunication was just embraced, because I read about the tradition of eating waffles on March 25 on multiple blogs. I’m all for it!

Pray: Reflect on Luke 1:26-38 (the account of the Annunciation) and/or pray the Angelus. I love the idea of specifically lifting up pregnant friends, unborn babies, and women experiencing crisis pregnancies in prayer on this day.

Additional reading:
Solemnities are Not For Being Solemn: What They Are, Why They Matter… (Catholic All Year)
Twelve (Simple!) Ways to Celebrate the Annunciation (Better Than Eden)
Why Mary Has to Hold the Cards: Thoughts on the Annunciation, Assault, and Free Will (Carrots for Michaelmas)
10 Things You Might Not Know About St. Patrick (Blessed Is She)

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  1. Maureen says:

    Yay I love this!

    This year, I’m working on celebrating three feast days for each of our patron saints.

    Mine is St. Therese as she is my middle name, Caleb’s is St. James as his middle name Reilly is after my grandfather James Reilly and Josh’s is St. Joseph who was his confirmation saint and someone to whom he has long felt connected.

    I love your suggestions for St. Joseph and plan to use them! I also am ordering a St. Joseph statue as a present for Josh. :)

    Happy feasting!

    • Lisa says:

      LOVE that idea, Maureen! What a perfect way to incorporate feast day celebrations into your family culture without it being overwhelming! Hope you had a wonderful time celebrating yesterday :) xoxo

  2. Em says:

    I love the reminder that we should be the ones praying most often for our husbands! So simple but so true!

    • Lisa says:

      Yes!! I definitely need more regular reminders–it’s humbling how easy it is to not be intentional about it, even though it is one of my most important jobs!

  3. Maria says:

    Hi Lisa,

    What a lovely post! I have followed your blog for a while but have started enjoying it even more recently. It is interesting and lovely to see how people celebrate smaller, “lesser known” yet important days in the liturgical calendar in the twenty-first century.

    Also some other things I would love to read about in your blog if you ever were to write about them: personal finances/how having a baby changed your family life, financially and otherwise (I know it’s super personal so I understand if you don’t want to write about these), your hobbies and how you enjoy alone time in a family setting, your favourite ways of slowing down in everyday life, books you enjoy, blogs you love reading, thoughts on the change from your job at SW to freelancing (and freelancing generally). Just some ideas :)

  4. Maria says:

    Lisa, this series is so wonderful! You have really inspired me to be more aware of the liturgical calendar and to find meaningful, yet realistic, ways to honor the holidays and saints. Thank you! I can’t wait for future posts like this one.

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you so much for this sweet comment and your encouragement, Maria! Living liturgically is something I’m growing so passionate about, so I LOVE hearing that it’s something you enjoy reading about too. Many more posts like this to come! xoxo

  5. Dana says:

    Waffle day! I love it! But should also be just as excited for the actual feast day :)

  6. Darby says:

    These are such great ideas!
    Thank you for sharing!

  7. Kristina says:

    Great post, Lisa! As I have told you before I love these posts and learn so much from you through them. I am a little late reading this post but realized that the Feast of Annunciation is tomorrow and therefore falls on Palm Sunday this year. Palm Sunday is a very special day and definitely celebrated all over Germany (with special traditions and treats etc.). Is Palm Sunday celebrated in the US? If yes, how do you celebrate it and will you mix it with your celebration of the Feast of Annunciation?

  8. […] a few simple ways to celebrate Easter, following the same eat/decorate/pray approach I mentioned a few weeks ago. Simple and doable is the name of the game here! That said, there are a few occasions throughout […]

  9. […] the day the Catholic Church sets aside to remember and honor this incredible woman, following my eat/decorate/pray method I’ve been using for feast days this year […]

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