The Your Holy Family 33 Day Family Consecration is designed to be used in conjunction with Fr. Nathan’s Totus Tuus: A Contemplative Guide to Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. This family consecration companion is not a replacement for Totus Tuus.
Here is the recommended way to use this guide to help your whole family prepare for making a total consecration to Mary.
- Each morning, parents should set aside 15 minutes to read the Totus Tuus daily prayer, scripture, reflection and closing prayer for the day. This will help you more fully prepare yourselves for teaching and leading your children during the daily family consecration time.
Extra work is typically part of being a parent :^). You may also encourage your older children to read the Totus Tuus text in addition to this Companion, according to their level of comfort with the reflections.
If you find something in the Totus Tuus reflection that really speaks to you, consider sharing that particular part with your family during the family consecration time. You may need to “translate” the passage that inspired you, so that your children will better understand it.
- Each week there is a weekly reflection in addition to the daily reflection, so the first day of the week will be a little longer. You may choose to break up these two reflections with your children: perhaps one in the morning and one in the evening, or one before dinner and the other right before bed time. We find that many children have shorter attention spans and may have a difficult time sitting through two reflections at a single sitting.
- Open with the sign of the Cross
- You may pass out the coloring pages to the younger children so they can color while you are reading the scripture and the reflection. Everyone should stay together in the same room, so that even those younger children who are coloring will still be listening to the reflection and discussion that the rest of the family is having. They may even stop coloring if they hear something that interests them. No one wants to be left out.
- Optional – You may wish to ask how each member of the family is doing concerning the daily pious practices, perhaps share your own struggles or victories on performing these tasks. This should be rather short; it is not a requirement that everyone say something, just a gentle reminder of the theme for the week.
- Read the daily prayer. This can be found in the Consecration Companion; there is also a longer prayer available in Totus Tuus. Use whichever one suits your family. The daily prayers in the consecration companion are traditional Marian prayers.
- Read the daily scripture; you may use your family Bible, or it will also be in Totus Tuus. You may also ask questions about the scripture as you read it to engage the younger children’s attention. We have included questions about the scripture passages on some of the daily reflections in the Family Consecration Companion.
- Discuss the topic of the day using the daily reflection from the Family Consecration Companion. The reflection is meant to serve as a guide to you as parents to help you prepare your children for the consecration. It is not required to say all the words or use all the questions during this time of teaching. Each family is different, each child is different, so use your judgment as parents to help you children better understand the beauty of our faith.
Feel free to ask additional questions to keep your children engaged in the discussion, or provide further explanation about parts of the reflection that your children may not understand.
- Pray the closing prayer, which can be found in Fr. Nathan’s Totus Tuus at the end of each day.
- Remind the family members of the daily pious task that they should doing the following day. During the Family Consecration time (a time of your choosing during the day), you should be following the order of these steps.