If the Church is the manifestation of heaven on earth, think of what the implications are if the Christian home is an extension of the Church! Even St. Paul speaks of the church which exists in the home in Romans 16:5.

The home is the first place for us to live our Orthodox Faith. The home, like the Church, must be a place of prayer and learning about God.

Think of the many things that we can do to strengthen the connection of our home to the Church: placing icons throughout the house, baking prosphoro (the bread that is used during the Divine Liturgy), preparing the boiled wheat "kolyva" for our departed loved ones, having our home blessed by the priest, censing the house on major feast days, studying the scriptures and praying as a family, etc.

It’s very helpful for a Christian home to have a designated place set aside for prayer, and for separate private areas to pray such as in the bedrooms. If it is difficult to think of an appropriate set-up, think of what adorns an Orthodox temple. There should be an icon of the Lord, the Virgin Mary and Patron Saint that are arranged in a way so that we may face east when praying. Electric votive lights are also common. Just a hint, the little red light will last longer if you never turn it off!

Family prayer corners should include: a cross, an icon of the Lord, an icon of the Virgin Mary, and saints that are special to your family, candles or oil lamp, censer, holy water, a prayer book, a Bible, prayer rope, etc.