Tips for a Blessed Summer Vacation
Take advantage of God’s grace covering your summer trips and vacations. Shortly before you go, have the traveling prayers (land or air!) prayed over you and have your car (owned, borrowed or rented) blessed. The priests and I are ready and waiting.
Keep on Blessing
Once on the road, the driver can bless the vehicle with the sign of the cross and/or a short prayer, “Lord, bless this vehicle and keep us safe. Amen.” If you see any accidents, make the sign of the cross and pray for those involved. When you arrive safely at your destination, give thanks to God.
These days, there are few opportunities like a vacation (whether extravagant or just camping in the back yard) to have the whole family on the same schedule. Use this togetherness as a time to pray together, simple prayers in the morning or evening or both. Take some little icons and set them up. Their presence alone will bless your time together, and they are a good reminder to pray before meals, etc.
Shared experiences are the foundation stones of friendship and memories. Make the effort to fulfill a little something for each member of the family. Enjoy whatever ends up happening and make the best out of everything. Some of the best memories are made out of enduring humorously through things going wrong and keeping an attitude of camaraderie.
If we keep busy all the time, vacation plans can sometimes become more demanding than just staying at home. Plan the ideal “do it all” vacation and then cut the activities in half; less is more. Build in personal downtime for each family member so that the vacation doesn’t end up being more work than it is relaxing.
Find out from your priest, the church office, or friends what churches are in the area you are vacationing in. This is a good opportunity to visit another parish. If you are not going to be near a church on a Sunday or feast day, prepare ahead of time to have a Typica service or at least a set time of prayers and devotion.
Put the names of your family members on the prayer list for the time you are gone. Include start and return dates so that you may be remembered among those traveling by “land, air or sea.”
With school out, summer activities underway, and family vacations in the works, it is easy to miss a regular tithe here and there. We can all help the parish get through this summer financial slump by planning ahead and getting our tithes to the church office before an absence.