23 December, 2018 10:14

Divine Love and is the highest love on earth. Love all of God’s creation. The whole and every grain of sand of it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things.
Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day.
Then you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.
(Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov)

18 December, 2018 12:54

Home Shrine

The house and its adornments must be concordant with the Christian’s desire for spiritual development and eternal salvation. The home and personal adornment should be unpretentious and unostentatious.

The house, in which Christians live, is the abode where the members of the family will spend the majority of their lives. It is here, not in society, nor at the market place, where individuals will learn of the important things of the Christian life. It is in the Christian home that individuals will be able to work out their eternal salvation. It is in the Christian home, that children will be raised and taught by word and action what it means to be Christian. It is in the Christian home that all of Christ’s teachings and consequently that of the Church can be practiced. The Christian home can and should provide all these things, because each home, in which an Orthodox Christian family resides, should be considered a “family church”. Making the dwelling a family church is spiritually edifying for all its inhabitants.

Suggestions for Setting up
a Home Shrine or Icon Corner

If possible, home shrines should face east. Table, shelf, armoire, box or even a suitcase in special situations can be a place for the following items:

  • Holy Cross
  • Tablecloth (change color, if you like, to match liturgical season)
  • A different colored rug can help define and set the area apart
  • Palm branches from Palm Sunday
  • Flowers
  • Holy Water
  • Wall sconces
  • Candles – these may change with the season or for particular events
  • Oil or vigil lamps
  • Incense & hand censer
  • Box to keep small items
  • Bible or Gospel Book
  • Books from the Early Church Fathers and the saints
  • Liturgy of the Hours, Prayer Book
  • Chair for reading
  • Book light
  • Bookstand for reading
  • Book rack
  • Prayer journal & pen – used to record names and intentions for prayer
  • Icons
  • Any personal religious item of meaning