Here’s a comment I received the other day in my post about Saint Blaise:
I have been reading so much up on the Catholic feast days, traditions, and such and it really is a rich history you have there. I think it is wonderful. I’m of the evangelical background, and it seems we threw out the baby with the baptismal waters so to speak. There are NO traditions in my church. Great people, great sermons, and such, but NO tradition.
It’s precisely the tradition that makes me love being part of this Church. The Feast of Saint Blaise is not the “gimmick of the week” but rather something that has been celebrated for hundreds of years.
Traditions help to connect us. On Ash Wednesday, we know that Catholics all over the world are doing what we are doing: fasting, abstaining from meat, and remembering our own sinfulness and need for the salvation that can only come from God by wearing a mark of ashes on our foreheads.
Just as in families, church traditions bring us together. They connect us with those who have gone before us, as well as to those who are with us now. Traditions are a way that we take part in the life of our faith–a way that we witness to the world, what we believe in. People of any age can participate. And it’s amazing how meaningful traditions can become. My SFO fraternity sponsors a Greccio celebration each year, with a live Nativity scene, music, and refreshments. Each year, more people come out to join this celebration and let us know how much they and their children love it. It can be a hassle to iron out the details, but on Greccio day, when we look at the smiling faces of children dressed like shepherds and angels, it’s all worth it.
If you’re interested in reading about some Catholic traditions, and how to bring them to your own home, I recommend:
The Bad Catholic’s Guide to Good Living: A Loving Look at the Lighter Side of the Catholic Faith, with Recipes for Feasts and Fun
This book is a lot of fun. It does not make fun of the Faith, but it shows how you can bring some interesting traditions into your family life.
A heavier book is Catholic Home: Celebrations and Traditions for Holidays, Feast Days, and Every Day
I know there are a few factual errors in that one, but it is still a good resource.
Finally, a treasure right on the Internet is Catholic Culture.