Summer is a wonderful opportunity to recharge our batteries for the school year ahead. It is a time of summer camps, trips to the beach, and lounging around the house. It is also a lovely time to spend exploring and deepening your family’s faith traditions in the home. Here are some great ideas for having a faith filled summer of prayer:
1. Meals Together & Meal Time Prayers – When you ask a child when they say mealtime prayers the most common answer is “Thanksgiving!” or “Christmas!” This is because often family meals are eaten in the back seat of the car on the way to the next activity. Take some time this summer to eat meals together as a family, to share with each other what happened during the day and to pray together. This models for children that meal prayers aren’t reserved for special occasions. Here are some popular meal time prayers:
Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts, which we are about to receive from your bounty. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Loving Father, we thank you for bringing us together for this meal: may we continue to live in your friendship and in harmony with one another. Bless + this food, a sign of your loving care for us, and bless + us in our daily lives. Bless your Church throughout the world, and all those who seek to do your will today. Father of mercy, all praise be to you through Jesus Christ our Savior, in unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen! (+ = make a sign of the cross)
God is great, God is good, Let us thank Him for this food! Alleluia
We give you thanks, Almighty God, for these and all your gifts which we have received from your bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
2. Summer Meal Prayers – Spend time out of doors in God’s beautiful creation. Enjoy a picnic or a barbecue in your backyard, at your local park or the beach. Make God a part of these fun experiences through prayer
Lord Jesus, our brother, be with us today. Bless our happy gathering and bless +this meal that we share. Protect us all, and help us to grow in your love. Lord Jesus, we praise your holy name forever. Amen. ( + = make a sign of the cross)
3. Summer Experience Prayers – Many of us are blessed with the opportunities to go to camp, go camping, or take a vacation over the summer. Here are some prayers for safe journey and great experiences:
Before Summer Vacation Blessing (taken from catholicdoors.com):
Take time to claim your strength; they are gifts of God.
Take time to have fun; it’s God’s way of teaching you your strengths.
Take time to grow yourself; only you can grow you.
Take time to trust yourself; God trusts you.
Take time to be self-reliant; it is better than being dependent.
Take time to share with others; they will bless you, and you will bless them.
Take time to have hope, you are a child of God.
Let’s put ourselves into the hands of the Lord, and pray that God will bless us and our families during the wonderful months of summer. May we all help make our home a place of relaxation, joy, love, peace and safety. May we be generous and considerate, not thinking only about ourselves, but helping others enjoy the blessings of summertime. Lord God, Creator of all things, guide our steps and strengthen our hearts, during these months of summer and vacation days. Grant us refreshment of mind and body. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Loving and merciful God, you have commissioned your angels to guide and protect us. Command them to be with us from our leaving until our return; keep us safe from all injury, accident or malice and sin. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.
Going to Camp:
Gracious God, bless N. during her/his time at camp this summer. Help N. to grow in her/his faith, to be Christ to all she/he meets, to always be ready to lend a helping hand and a kind word to those in need. Encourage N. to participate enthusiastically in all camp activities, to listen to her/his counselors, to be a good friend and to make lasting friendships. Guard N. from all danger and guide her/him to make healthy and safe decisions. Return N. home to us healthy and happy, safe and sound. Amen.
Joyful God, we thank you for this time together. We thank for for the sun in the sky, the cool sea water, and the sand. We thank you for yummy snacks, buckets, pales and beach umbrellas. We thank you for our family, our friends and the life guards who keep us safe. We ask that you bless us on this beautiful day and we praise you for this beautiful Creation that you have entrusted to us. Amen.