19 March 2020

The Domestic Church

A little altar on a shelf of our bookcase

A little altar on our coffee table

How can we be Christians and not have a Little Church in our homes?  My husband and I both agree most strenuously that "an hour on Sunday" is nowhere near enough to sustain us in our Faith and to keep us constant and devoted.  We do all kinds of things in our little home church, and daily prayers, but we also have sacred items throughout the house -- visual aids to keep us focused on God and saintly friends to help us along the way. 

Angels about the doorways;  Moses and Kassiani on the piano

I once heard an Orthodox priest say that "icons are not for decoration and should only be in your icon corner".  Well, while I agree that they are not items of home decor, I definitely disagree that they should only be in your icon corner!  They are beautiful and glorious and serve as constant reminders of our faith -- so they should be all over.


At this trying time, when churches are keeping their doors closed to the Faithful, it is more important than ever to have an active Domestic Church.  What can you do?  Here are a few suggestions (which will be obvious to the seasoned and hopefully helpful to those less so):

  • Pray -- have a keepable rule of prayer and pray daily.  Use the corporate prayers of the Church as well as your own "from the heart" prayer.
  • Light candles -- candles represent the light of Christ, and they in and of themselves are a form of prayer.
  • Burn incense -- Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice (Psalm 141:2)
  • Read Scripture
  • Read devotionals
  • Use your prayer rope or beads
  • Pray the Rosary
  • Sing, pray, or listen to hymns and sacred music (we sometimes add a piece of sacred music to our time of devotion, and listen together).
  • Pray the morning, evening, and/or compline prayers
  • Remember mealtime prayers
  • Watch a Christian video (a talk, group prayer, music, a movie -- something inspirational and uplifting)
  • Pray when you go out of the house; pray when you come into the house
  • Read about the saints
  • Keep shrines and light candles at them
  • Listen to podcasts (there are many Catholic and Orthodox podcasts out there)
  • Say a novena
  • Pray before an icon
  • Keep the feasts and fasts
  • Watch Masses from the Vatican (GO HERE)
  • Talk about your faith, with loved ones or anyone!
  • Never forget God.

My images today are various little views around our home:  places where we have icons, a little altar, a candle, a vigil lamp, what have you.  

Make your home a little church.  Do not let the devil destroy your peace or distract you from God with fear and despair.  Keep faithful!

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