The Habit of Sunday Keeping

2014-03-15 Nevada Cactus Flowering

We were early for flowers, so I was very glad to see this one before we left Nevada for home.

The habit of Sunday observances, not rigid, not dull, and yet peculiar to the day, is especially important. Sunday stories, Sunday hymns, Sunday walks, Sunday talks, Sunday painting, Sunday knitting even, Sunday card-games, should all be special to the day,––quiet, glad, serene. The people who clamour for a Sunday that shall be as other days little know how healing to the jaded brain is the change of thought and occupation the seventh day brings with it. There is hardly a more precious inheritance to be handed on than that of the traditional English Sunday, stripped of its austerities, we hope, but keeping its character of quiet gladness and communion with Nature as well as with God.

–School Education, Charlotte Mason (pg 145)

I was first inspired to make Sundays different by Auntie Leila at Like Mother, Like Daughter. This was towards the beginning of my transformation, sparked by “the” thread at the Well-Trained Mind Forums. Anyway, I started searching for how to show my children truth, goodness and beauty. I realized how fundamentally wrong our culture’s education is, indeed our culture itself. Always doing, and, what’s worse, valuing people by what they DO. Not who they are. And especially when you have a child that doesn’t learn on “average” timetables, you become painfully aware of how skewed our society’s viewpoint is.

Anyway, on my wonderful metamorphosis I was lead to podcasts and videos at the Circe Institute, the practical wisdom of Cindy at Ordo-Amoris, and Auntie Leila’s sage advice on my home. I read Norms and Nobility (which is on my “to buy” list this summer). I also bumped shoulders with several Catholics, and through all these I came to a greater respect of liturgy, rhythm and ritual.

So, thanks to rereading Auntie Leila’s post – yes, I have a very thick skull and tend to contemplate things in the back of my mind for a long time, so I read the post a few times. Anyway, I tried to make Sunday’s different. So I’d do ‘different’ things on Sunday. And that was okay. But the real, and completely accidental, break-through came earlier this term, when I was setting up our schedule for school. I decided not to schedule ANYTHING on Sunday. That doesn’t mean we don’t do anything, but I do not plan one thing. I do not expect anything. And it is freeing! I tend to be a control freak, but one day a week I let go of control and just go with the flow. So today, since I’m not feeling 100%, I’m at home. The kids were playing, so I decided to catch up on the Handbook of Nature Study. Which led me to post here. Which led me to submit my post to the blog carnival, and to read the selected chapter for this month. Which led to another post, because what I read above, about Sunday keeping, is exactly what I’ve discovered! I even love the term “keeping”.Later in the month I plan to reread the section and look at the daily habits I need to inspire in my children. We are working on getting our daily routines back on track.


  1. Shirley Ann in England

    I love that quote from CM. We are an Anglican family although have not always been. I find observing the liturgical year both within our church and in our home to be a wonderful way to keep our faith deep and meaningful.

  2. Tammy Glaser

    I end up doing my “keeping” on Saturdays because there are fewer distractions. Except for school (CM private school), I’m not very scheduled. Saturdays seem to have more time for me to do keeping than Sundays. Thanks for the links and your experience with keeping!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *