If You Don’t Have Children…

If you don’t have children (either not yet or they’re grown and gone), the focus on having a Domestic Church might seem irrelevant for you.  Please know that this concept is not just for families with children! Building a Domestic Church is for all of us members of the laity, to help bring the Church into our homes and lives and to assist us in our quest to become saints. Now, you might not be doing cute, educational crafts since your home has no children right now, but this fact does not prevent you from having a rich and spiritual experience of the grace of having a Domestic Church!

You should definitely make a home altar for a visual center of prayer in the home. Then start with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Build your life around the Sunday liturgy. Start by reading the readings and praying about them the night before.  The Church has been around for almost 2,000 years, and all the generations praying and meditating on Christ have, with the help of the Holy Spirit, made an incredibly rich and intricate liturgical tradition that will astound you in its interconnection and relation of the ordinary to the incredible mysteries of God.

If you can attend Daily Mass at your parish church, do; if you cannot, begin to read the prayers and readings of the daily Masses each morning. Relate them to the last Sunday’s Gospel. You will become more aware of the Church’s celebration of the thousands of saints in the Church Triumphant in Heaven praying for us, the Church Militant, here on earth. It will help keep you focused on your mission to become a saint in your vocation with the help of God.

Remember that the seasons of the Church Year are reflected in and emphasized by the Church’s tradition of Sacred Music—there is no better way to marinate in the beauty of the current liturgical season than to listen to (and learn!) the songs and chants for the Church Year. There are resources for learning Gregorian Chant and vernacular (English) plain chant at the Church Music Association of America website, www.musicasacra.com. When you feel ready for an “advanced commitment to prayer” I highly recommend adding some of the Divine Office to your daily routine in English or in Latin.

Celebrate the High Holy Days and other feasts by changing your icons and sacred images and other decorations, as you do for secular holidays. Celebrate the important personal feast days of close family members with prayers and gifts: remembering Baptismal days, the patronal feast days of your loved ones’ Confirmation Saints, etc., are wonderful ways to share in the joy of being part of the Universal Church.

Of course there are many more ideas than this; feel free to add your ideas below, I would love to read them! With His beautiful and amazing gift to us—His Holy Church—Christ has given us the means to become very close to Him, very holy. (Deo gratias!) We just need to use these means. Frequent the Sacraments and build your Domestic Church—I will be praying for you!

 

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One thought on “If You Don’t Have Children…

  1. I am happy you posted on this. All my children are grown and I have been in the habit of thinking that a domestic Church does not apply to me. But it would apply to me if i were completely alone, wouldn’t it? I have a soul. I think that is all that is required for this gig!

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