This article was originally written by E. Jeffrey Hill for LDS.org Church News. The following is an excerpt.
As individual members of the Church of Jesus Christ, it’s easy to generate a list of things we can do to keep the Sabbath day holy. It takes more creativity to think of what a family with children of different ages can do to make Sunday a special, spiritual day. Most families try and fail and try again. It’s hard. But those families that stick with it until they find their own ways to successfully celebrate the Sabbath will reap blessings of stronger family relationships, kinder communication, spiritual depth, and more family fun.
Here are five principles, with numerous practical applications, that might help families make Sunday sacred in their homes.
1. Worship together as a family.
Along with attending church meetings together, there are many ways a family can make the Sabbath a day of worship.
Get to bed early on Saturday night. A family can worship better on Sunday if its members have gotten enough rest the night before. Make it a priority to get young children to bed early and encourage teenagers to return home at a reasonable hour on Saturday night.
Pray and read together. Just because the Sabbath is different, do not get out of the weekday routine of family prayer and scripture reading. Read the scriptures at a pace family members enjoy. Family scripture study can help young children read at an early age. If you teach them to recognize the phrase and it came to pass, they can make regular contributions when the family reads the Book of Mormon.
Give priesthood blessings. The Sabbath is an excellent day for turning the hearts of fathers and children toward each other through father’s blessings. Parents can also share their patriarchal blessings with their children and talk about the guidance contained therein.
Fast as a family. Before a fast Sunday, a family might eat a meal together Saturday afternoon or evening, discussing common purposes for the upcoming fast. Then they could remind each other of these purposes throughout the fast. Parents can encourage children to fast to the degree appropriate for their age. (Younger children might fast for only one meal.) Break the fast by praying as a family about the purposes of the fast. Ask children about their experience fasting and about any promptings they might have received.
Read Hill’s full article at churchofjesuschrist.org.