Church Year Resource Books
Both Amazon and BookFinder.com are helpful sources.
• = some of our favorites
• All through the Day, All through the Year: Family Prayers and Celebrations
A rich collection of rituals, celebrations, and prayer to build traditions for the whole cycle of the church year. Many ideas for families to adapt for their particular situation. Easy to use format, not overwhelming. Excellent resource.
Augsburg Publishing House, 1965, 1974
Thirty-one online conversation starters with bold graphics focus on 1) God’s gifts in nature and through the senses; 2) the Good News of worship and the church year; 3) the life cycle, including sacrament. Originally a flip-chart, this resource provides a month’s worth (probably more as no family will manage to do each page in daily succession) of ideas to stimulate reflection on God and what really matters.
Here is an opportunity to engage topics otherwise often missed. We used “Table Talks” many times and highly recommend it. Available online
• Great Days for the Family: How to make birthdays, “big” days, church days, nation days, nature days interesting and exciting
Concordia Publishing House, 1969
Good all-purpose introduction with lots of ideas to help people get started. Family days and national holidays are included in addition to the church year. This was one of my first resources.
Purchase from amazon.com
• Crafts Through the Year
Floris Books, 2000, 2011
Includes everything from The Christmas Book except pentagonal stars; much of The Easter Book, but not all
Beautifully designed craft projects for the four seasons; each season includes ideas for the major Christian feasts and seasons
Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers
National Conference of Catholic Bishops
United States Catholic Conference, Inc., 1988
Comprehensive traditional collection of blessings for church year days & seasons, daily blessings, blessings for family, special occasions and common prayers.
Festive Allsorts: Ideas for Celebrating the Christian Year
The National Society with Church House Publishing, 1994
London, United Kingdom
58 days and seasons included, many saints, English saints, too. Each day or season has background, discussion questions and activity ideas.
• Common Prayer for Children and Families
Church Publishing Incorporated, 2019
Prayers for the church year, home, school, camp, mealtimes, the world and much more. Prayers are drawn from many sources, with strong echoes from the Book of Common Prayer. A rich resource for families, whimsical line drawings invite coloring, too.
• Our Colorful Church Year
Don Bosco Publications, 2004
Elementary age children & familiesThis delightful little book is the best I’ve found to introduce the liturgical year to children—and adults who need some refreshing. It includes all major festivals and six saints (Nicholas, Barbara, Lucy, Stephen, Valentine, and Martin). The church year is put into the context of the seasons and illustrated with bright, attractive pictures. Roman Catholic, it is approriate for Protestants as well, who may simply skip a section or two. All about celebration, it is a great find!
• The Parables of Jesus
FaithWords Hachette Book Group, 2017
New York, New York
All agesA beautifully produced coloring book with 46 parables, each with a full-page illustration to color, the scripture account, reflection and suggestions for response. Lovely resource, for all ages.
The Catholic Cook Book: Traditional Feast and Fast Day Recipes
Comprehensive cookbook with recipes for all of the church year, including seven for St. Nicholas Day
Purchase from amazon.com
• Sleeping with Bread: Holding What Gives You Life
Paulist Press, 1995
Mahwah, New Jersey
A simple introduction to reflecting each day on what was best and worst about the day (most/least grateful; happiest/saddest moment; or high/low point, etc.). This is the Ignatian Examen, a beautiful way to reflect on the day. This could be done by the whole family, or as part of the bedtime ritual with each child, along with prayer and singing. This simple practice is a rich resource; it isn’t about the church year, rather helpful daily ritual for all ages.
To Dance with God: Family Ritual and Community Celebration
Paulist Press, 1986
This classic book has good background for developing Nicholas and other traditions and a nice re-telling of four St. Nicholas legends with suggestions for creating plays. Fine introduction to family tradition and ritual with a wealth of ideas for the feasts and seasons of the Christian year.
Seasonal Saints Cutouts
Nippert & Co. Artworks, 2010
Includes Saint Nicholas, Saint Patrick & Saint Valentine
Large (11x17) cards, 2 for each saint
The second card for each saint has information and symbols
The two cards are designed to be cut out (or mounted and cut out for durability) to make a bulletin board display about the saint
Purchase from catholicartworks.com
Faithful Celebrations: Making Time for God in Autumn
Church Publishing Incorporated, 2018
One in a series of four Faithful Celebrations: Making Time for God from Mardi Gras Through Pentecost; … in Autumn … in Winter; … Family and Friends. Information and activity ideas for many different holidays and celebrations with special emphasis on multigenerational experiences. Valuable for families and churches.
Festivals for You to Celebrate: Facts, Activities, and Crafts
Festivals from around the world, includes directions for making Swiss St Nicholas mitre/headdresses
Purchase from amazon.com
• Festivals of the Christian Year: Teacher’s Guide
Lion Publishing, 1996
Helpful guide to 20 festivals: background, Christian belief, activities, discussion suggestions, notes for craft projects in main book (above) and follow-up craft and project ideas
• Celebrating Sunday for Catholic Families
Liturgy Training Publications, Annual publication
Easy to use weekly guide gives a snippet of the Gospel reading, short reflection, something to talk about on the way to church, something for on the way home, and ideas for Living the Word throughout the week. This annual publication is available in paperback and as a Kindle edition. Covers the whole year, beginning in September. Follows the Roman Catholic Lectionary, but is very close to the Revised Common Lectionary on most Sundays. Useful for any family whose church follows the Common Lectionary.
Purchase from Liturgy Training Publications
Basic Books about St. Nicholas
Picture Books for Younger Children (and all ages)
Picture Books for Older Children
Books for Older Children
Saints Books for Adults
Saints Books for Children
Activity & Resource Books
Christmas Books with St. Nicholas
Books in Other Languages
Children’s Books in Other Languages
Books for the Church Year and more