The tradition continues! In Lent, our whole family goes screen-free from 7:00-9:00 PM most days. It’s the same idea as Advent, except we’re a bit more stickerlish about it. We’ve been listening to the Bible In a Year Podcasts with Fr. Mike Schmitz, and we have fallen behind (we just started Exodus), so we’re hoping to get back on the wagon during Lent. I’ve been sketching while I listen, and so have many of the kids.
The other thing we’ve been doing for a few years is a mandatory family film viewing on Friday nights. Damien and I choose something edifying, well-made movie, preferably with some spiritual theme. We try to choose some that are overtly religious and some that are not; some that are more uplifting and/or lighthearted, and some that are heavier or more intense. If they are religious, they do not necessarily have to be Christian. And they are mandatory! So penitential, much gulag.
Here are the quickie reviews of the movies we’ve watched in past years. I have tried to provide links in the reviews to where the movies can be viewed.
Calvary (This one is a podcast and it’s currently only open to Patreon patrons. The podcast is currently on hiatus, but of course archives are still open to patrons.)
This year, a couple of my kids have already been watching The Chosen at their Catholic high school, so we’ll let that be, although I haven’t seen any of it yet myself. Our tentative list so far is:
The second half of I Prefer Heaven, which we never got around to watching
Tree of Life
Of Gods and Men
A Man For All Seasons, which most of our kids have never seen, somehow
And that’s all I have so far. Our kids are getting older (the youngest will be 8 in a few days!) and the others still at home are 11, 14, 15, 17, 19, 22, and 24, so it’s easier to find movies for the whole family. In our family, we take movies pretty seriously, and the kids will sit around debating the themes and subtexts and allusions in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022) if no one makes them stop, so I like to occasionally sit them down in front of movies that have something on their mind, not to mention movies that counteract the constant cultural message that christians = vicious, hypocritical, fascist clowns.
Any suggestions? We don’t usually manage to watch a movie every single Friday, but I would like to add a couple more possibilities to the list.