Wednesday, November 23, 2016

New {Liturgical} Year Resolutions

I don't always set New Year's Resolutions-do you?  I do however like to start something new with the Seasons of Advent and Lent- times that the Church invites us to reset, slow down, and go deeper in our faith.

Advent is my favorite Liturgical Season.  I think its the waiting, the hope, the fulfilled promises.  Last year on the first Sunday of Advent, I decided to formalize something I had been doing in prayer and study already.  I wrote:
"Scripture doodling. That's what I'm calling it anyways.  It helps me focus, helps me memorize, and helps me treasure God's Word.  I often spend time doodling on Sundays using the Sunday Readings from Mass.  Today, as I sat down to pray, I realized that the first Sunday of Advent, the beginning of a new Liturgical Year, is a great time for, well, a new year's resolution.  So I've decided to be a little more intentional about this idea.  I broke out an unused journal, labeled the top of each page with all the coming Sundays this year, and started today.  My goal is to spend time meditating on the Readings for each Sunday for the rest of the year and doodle a selected verse every week.  I'll be documenting the journey each Sunday on Instagram using the hashtag #SundayReadingsScriptureDoodle.  Come follow along, and jump in if you like!"

And I did it!  Each Sunday, I handlettered a verse from one of the Sunday Mass Readings.  The hardest part was often the choosing- there is so much rich text that deciding which verse to use was tough!

It made me slow down and read the Readings both before and after Sunday.  It also helped me ensure that I took time in Scripture each Sunday, which is a busy day for a church employee.

I usually left the notebook open to that page all week, letting myself dwell on that Scripture and memorize a lot of them.  I'm a visual learner, so the images and lettering helped the words stick in my head.

 I also kept a running list of prayer intentions and praises on the back of that week's Scripture doodle.  It was a reminder to pray, and now it remains as a reminder of God's provision.

My notebook traveled all over with me (literally, across the country) and was frequently thrown in my purse or bag.  It survived well, and will stay on my prayer table as something I treasure.  If you're interested, I used a ruled 5 x 8.5 soft cover moleskine (affiliate link).  It had enough pages for each Sunday as long as I used both sides of the heavy coverpages in the front and the back.
(And after some readers asked, a few of my favorite pens include these, these, and these.) (affiliate links)

I saw this as an artistic activity to help me stretch and learn new lettering styles.  But it certainly isn't reserved for the "artistic."  There is something about writing that helps our brain process and remember text. If you want to join in, your own handwriting and favorite pens are enough to doodle and reflect on the verses you choose.

I'm so glad that I made this New Liturgical Year Resolution, and I am ready with a fresh notebook to begin again this Sunday.  I'd love to have you join me!  Sit down, doodle, pray, and reflect on the beauty of the Sunday Mass Readings.  Then snap a photo and tag me or #SundayReadingsScriptureDoodle so I can follow along with your journey!

I just posted a few of my favorites in the photos above.  Here's a montage of all 52 Scripture Doodles.  You can see them all up close on my Instagram account or by searching #SundayReadingsScriptureDoodles. Do you see a favorite?


  1. What a wonderful idea! I'm not as artistic as you are, but even just writing down one of the verses and meditating upon that would be fine, I'm sure. Whatever works, right? I really appreciate all of your ideas. Your printables really save me lots of time with my CCD class and with my own kids. Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving! - Laura G.

    1. Absolutely! The prayer is the important part :)
      Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Love this! Do you tend to plan/practice on a separate page first?

    1. Thank you! I would say that maybe half of the time I might sketch out a rough idea of placement before I get started and the rest of the time I just jump right in. Occasionally for the more detailed ones I will do a rough draft and then trace or copy to save some time erasing. Usually I just go for it!