The Church building is a wonderful place where we gather as the Body of Christ, receive the Sacraments, and worship in community. However, the sacramental life that is the Christian life is not supposed to only take place in the Church, but rather to spread from the Church into every aspect of our lives.
It should especially spread to our homes. The Christian home is, in the Orthodox tradition, often referred to as "the little Church," or "the Church of the home." It is for this reason that Orthodox Christians bless their homes in much the same way that the Church is blessed and consecrated, as a holy place not only for Christians to dwell, but also to worship and pray in communion with each other.
We have gathered here some resources for building up the "little Church," we hope you find them helpful. The best resource is to talk to your priest and to other families in your church about what works for them, because the "Church at home" should always be complementary to the Church "at Church," and should never replace it.
Archdiocese Website - Liturgical Texts: Texts of liturgical services, as used by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Archdiocese Website - Prayers: A collection of prayers for various needs and times from the Archdiocesan website.
AGES Initiatives - Digital Chant Stand (DCS): Texts (with hyperlinks to musical settings of most hymns) for the daily services, including some options for Readers' Services (services done without a priest).
An amazing resource for building up the home Church, teaching Sunday School, or incorporating Orthodox Christian education into home-schooling.
As the companion to the Raising Saints podcast, this blog will cover familiar ground: equipping parents and teachers, godparents and grandparents, to talk about the Orthodox Faith with the children in our lives.
“Raising Saints” with Elissa Bjeletich offers tools to bring the Orthodox Christian faith to life for our children. Providing specific ways to express complex ideas to children so that they can understand and make them their own, and offering concrete and practical suggestions to reinforce those ideas, this podcast hopes to equip adults to share the faith with children, shaping the way in which our youth understand their lives. This podcast is for parents, grandparents, and godparents, for Sunday School teachers and for those working in the Youth Ministries—for anyone interested in shepherding our youth along the path to God. (Also availa
A nice "Orthodoxy 101" blog.
Annalisa Boyd knows motherhood—its challenges, its joys, and its potential for spiritual growth. In this prayer book she offers a wide selection of prayers mothers can use to intercede for their families as well as to grow in virtue themselves.
How do we as Orthodox parents keep our children in the Church throughout their lives? It all begins with involving them in the life of the Church from birth onward—in the parish and also at home. Blueprints for the Little Church provides practical ideas and encouragement—without judgment—for incorporating the primary practices of Orthodox spirituality into your family life at every stage of its growth and throughout the church year.
A Child's Guide to Prayer is a beautifully illustrated prayer book for Orthodox Christian children aged 5-10 who are just developing a habit of prayer. The selection includes morning and evening prayers, prayers during the day, at mealtimes, for family and friends, and prayers of and to the saints - along with psalms to pray and prayers that have to do with communion and confession. All the prayers were carefully selected by priests and youth workers to ensure their age-appropriateness. The 120-page guide also includes brief instructions on how to pray, why we pray, and a list of different ways to pray. The book concludes with several blank pages for personal prayer requests.
Practical advice for parents (and educators) on raising children to understand and love their faith. Includes activities the family can share that encourage children to discover spiritual truths for themselves and own them for life.
In the “domestic church,” parents, like the Orthodox priest, represent God to their children. Here is a wonderful book filled with ideas to help Orthodox Christian parents become effective religious educators in their own homes.
The Orthodox Christian tradition is filled with wisdom and guidance about the biblical path of salvation. Yet this guidance remains largely inaccessible to parents and often disconnected from the parenting challenges we face in our homes. Parenting Toward the Kingdom will help you make the connections between the spiritual life as we understand it in the Orthodox Church and the ongoing challenges of raising children. It takes the best child development research and connects it with the timeless truths of our Christian faith to offer you real strategies for navigating the challenges of daily life.
Are you looking for a way to keep your family engaged in the true spiritual nourishment Lent has to offer? Tending the Garden of Our Hearts offers family devotions based on the scriptures for each day of Great Lent, including questions to discuss and ponder and an appendix full of hands-on activities to bring the lessons of the season to life. Whether you use it every day or dip into it occasionally as time permits, this book will help the whole family get more out of this crucial season of the Orthodox year.
Walking in Wonder blends patristic Orthodox teaching with practical suggestions for parents, resulting in a book that is not only inspirational but full of common sense. Elizabeth White draws from her extensive experience as an educator, parent, and faithful Orthodox Christian to outline not only what the virtues are, but the how-tos of encouraging the development of those virtues in children. Each chapter ends with a list of practical ideas any parent might try to help cultivate character qualities such as attentiveness and silence. This small jewel could well be called "the Holy Fathers applied to parenting". This workbook will help parents, teachers, and all caregivers provide an environment that helps develop Orthodox attitudes toward self, others, the world, and Christ.
Ancient Faith Store - Specifically, this link goes to the Ancient Faith "Altar Supplies for Home and Church" page. You can order censers, oil lamps, and accompanying supplies from this great resource, along with prayer books, icons, and other helpful components for setting up the "Church at home."