Sunday, July 26, 2009

Home Altars

Each Christian family is considered a Domestic Church, being the smallest unit of Christian community, faith, and practice. It is in the Christian home that one lives out the Catholic faith. Each family, being part of the Church, is charged with much the same ministry as the parish church; namely worship, Christian fellowship, charity, education in the faith, growth in virtue, evangelism, hospitality and works of mercy. (Orthodox Wiki)

The "religious life" is not limited to those who have taken monastic or priestly vows. Rather, this shows that all Christians are called to religious and prayerful life.

Worship in the traditional home generally centers around the "Icon corner" (or sometimes called a "home altar"), which is typically placed in a prominent place in the living room or dining room of the home. This usually consists of one or more icons and often a shelf or table on which are placed various devotional items.

A Home Altar is a place where the focal point of a Catholic home should be -- a place where the family can gather to offer up their prayers to the Most Holy Trinity and to ask the Saints to pray for them. Morning Offerings, family Rosaries, prayers for special intentions, family novenas, Lectio Divina, etc., can all be made here. Family altars, ideally, should be on the Eastern wall of a home, in the same orientation as church buildings. The altar can be as simple or as elaborate as one desires.

A home altar is not intended to be used for Mass. Although, Mass can be said anywhere--so Mass could be said there. Rather, a home altar is a shrine that allows a family a quiet place to keep relics, icons, and other prayerful objects on display in one area. This area is used for prayer. What better place to contemplate and pray than among images of our Lord, and the saints around us?

Many Catholics have sacred images or icons all over their house. All a home altar does is take most of those objects and put them into a prayerful and sacred area. It is not uncommon for Catholics to have a home altar in their house. It is the same as having a crucifix in every room, or a small shrine in your bedroom where you pray.
I love the idea of a Home Altar.

Here are some pictures of our family's Home Altar:



We have a gold crucifix with two candles, and another wall mounted votive candle that can be changed out for different feast days, along with an incense burner and holy cards set on the table. On the right wall we have a small Holy Water Font below an icon of St. Anthony along with a relic of St. Anthony. The left wall has a few shelves holding statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Charles Borremeo, and St. Padre Pio. We are looking for a statue of Mary, but haven't decided on one yet.

Here is a closer picture of our home altar....




We just recently added St. Padre Pio to our shrine. We bought him a few days ago when we went to visit "Cross in the Woods." He is a wonderful addition! I personally have a special devotion to the pious friar too.



8 comments:

The Young Catholic said...

Is thatt a candle of Our Lady of San Juan de Los Lagos?

Catholic Teen said...

Si!!!

Joe S.R. said...

It's really nice! Maybe I'll put up a photo of mine some day.

The Young Catholic said...

May I ask how you became acquainted with Our Lady of San Juan de Los Lagos? You see many Americans don't know about her.

Catholic Teen said...

Well, at the store here they had a bunch of saint candles on sale, so we bought it, along with one of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

No particular reason. =D

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店經紀,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店工作,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,

,酒店,

Anonymous said...

Thank you ;-) look at this emo boy hair over this blog:
http://emo--boys.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Genial brief and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you on your information.