Supposedly some of the names of the days of the week in the English language are derived from the names of Norse gods. (This has always fascinated, rather than annoyed, me.) We must live each of these days in a Christian way, however, and one great way to do that is to observe the tradition of Christian dedications/remembrances and for our seven days of the week. Each day of the week can be devoted to contemplating something holy. In Catholic tradition, the days of the week have their own dedications, some of them going back nearly to Apostolic times.
- Sunday, the first day of the week, is a “little Easter,” calling us to remember the glorious Resurrection of Our Lord.
- Monday is dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and sometimes to the Holy Spirit.
- Tuesday is dedicated to remembrance of the angels, perhaps especially our guardian angels.
- Wednesday is the day we weekly remember St. Joseph.
- Thursday saw the Institution of the Eucharist, so we remember this blessed event on all Thursdays.
- Friday is a “little Lent,” a day dedicated to penance in remembrance of the Passion and Death of our Savior, and to the great love of His Sacred Heart.
- On Saturday, we honor and ask the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
What can you do for your Domestic Church to bring in these daily dedications to your family’s spiritual life?
Since I have recently begun starting my day with Lauds (the dawn prayer of the Divine Office), I can assure you that by starting the day with a morning prayer that reflects the dedication of the day, you will find an incredible ability to focus. During the rest of the day, your mind will be drawn to the prayer you began the day with. It will influence everything else you do. So, find a special prayer for each of the subjects of the days of the week, to use day after day. On Wednesday mornings, you’ll want to use a special prayer to St. Joseph, for example. All that day your mind and heart will be drawn to Heaven to contemplate St. Joseph’s virtues and to ask for his help.
Having both souls and bodies, I believe that we need to sense a subtle difference at our home altar as the day of the week changes in order to pray better. Have one of the children change some small detail of your home altar every morning—such as putting up a holy card of St. Joseph on Wednesday morning—to focus your attention during morning prayer and throughout the day as you walk by. The smallest things can have the greatest impact (and that’s the way the Almighty often works, as we see in Scripture).
Dedicating your days like this gives your week a spiritual connection to the Church. When you set up this small household prayer pattern, you’ll find that it will assist you in your efforts to celebrate other things (seasons, name days, etc.) throughout the year. Be sure to share with your children that Christians have prayed the week this way for millennia. It’s a privilege to carry this beautiful tradition on.