Skip to comments.The church in the home
Posted on 07/17/2014 7:32:17 AM PDT by Welchie25
Growing up in New Albany, Ind., during the 1950s, I never heard the term domestic church, but I knew what it meant. I knew it because my parents and my friends parents made their homes domestic churches, even before that phrase from our Catholic tradition was retrieved during the Second Vatican Council. I guess you could say that my childhood friends and neighbors were at home in church and in church at home.
But what did it mean in practical terms that we experienced the family as a domestic church? For one thing, it meant that nearly every Catholic family we knew went to Mass each Sunday.
When the Knights of Columbus volunteered for a parish project, the pastor, Father Wagner, rolled up his sleeves and worked right alongside them. Ill never forget seeing him on a ladder in a white shirt putting up ceiling tiles.
The preaching was also practical, and often family-centered. Families were encouraged to pray the rosary every evening and to come to Mass on weekdays when possible. Almost every Saturday there were long lines of parishioners for confession.
The point here is not to idealize the past, but to learn from it. The parish was the center of our lives in past generations. We felt at home in the church, and because of that our homes had a church-like quality. We had arguments and dilemmas, moments of joy and sorrow. Through it all, though, there was never a time when the faith we professed and celebrated on Sunday didnt impact our lives.
The most evident church-like quality of my familys home was prayer. We were hardly living in a monastery, but we did pray the morning offering, prayers before bedtime, prayers before meals, and most evenings we prayed the rosary.
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Amen to that! As a child of the ‘70s and ‘80s, confession was rarely spoken of at Mass, or it is possible I didn’t hear about it (or listen to it).
Fortunately, I have seen and heard more words and actions from the pulpit encouraging confession, and in different parishes, pretty good sized lines.
With all of the activities children are encouraged to participate in, it is no wonder family life has suffered. How can you have a family dinner when nobody is there?
People who church themselves every Lords Day PING
I wonder if there is still a tradition of chapel cabinets, small cabinets with a cross, an icon and family picture, a candle, and perhaps a rosary? And a small “prie dieu”, or kneeling bench.
Quite good. I can imagine any number of variations, and would think they would be well received by a visiting Priest.
Which reminds me of a funny story from days of yore.
A family had a daughter in elementary school who had some difficulty gaining weight, so their doctor recommended that she should eat richer food, and drink a beer when she came home from school.
To get into the icebox (days of yore), she needed to stand on the lid of the large kitchen lard barrel. And one day, coming home from school through the kitchen door, she removed her dusty dress and put it in the laundry hamper, then stood on the lid to get her beer. And when she had gotten the beer, the lid slipped, plunging her up to the knees in lard.
Getting out of the barrel, she went to tell her mother in the living room about her messy accident, unknowing that her mother was hosting the new, young parish Priest for tea.
And this was the sight that greeted the Priest. A girl child in her underwear, covered up to her knees in lard, and carrying an open bottle of beer. “Mo-other!”
Thank you for the splendid photo! Home alters are an essential.
Face palm, here! I was careless to abuse and alter the spelling of altar, as “alter”. Please forgive a dunderhead. Yikes!
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