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Domestic Church

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Within the Orthodox Christian faith, each Christian family is considered a '''Domestic Church''', being the smallest unit of Christian community, faith, and practice. It is in the Christian home that one lives out the Orthodox faith. The [[Gospel of Matthew ]] records Jesus as saying "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (18.:20 NAB) What is the Christian home if not two or more gathered in the Name name of Christ? Each family, being part of the Church, is charged with much the same ministry as the parish church; namely worship, Christian fellowship, charity, education in the faith, growth in virtue, evangelism, hospitality and works of mercy. The "religious life" is not limited to those who have taken [[monasticism|monastic ]] or priestly [[priest]]ly vows. Rather, ''all'' Christians are called to religious life. As St. [[Benedict of Nursia|Benedict]] said of his monastery, the Christian home, too, is to be "a school for the Lord's service."
==Worship in the Domestic Church==
 
Worship in the traditional Orthodox home general centers around the [[Icon corner]] (sometimes called a "home altar"), which is typically placed in a prominent location in the living room or dining room of the home. This customarily consists of one or more icons and often a shelf or table on which are placed various devotional items.
==Fellowship in the Domestic Church==
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==Education in the Domestic Church==
 
In the mind of many of today's Christians, religious education has become the task of the parish church, the Sunday school or the youth group. However, this has not always been the case. One of the foremost obligations (and privileges) of Christian parenting, is seeing that their children are brought up in the knowledge, love, and fear of the Lord. The Sunday School, which began as a Protestant movement, was designed originally for the religious education of the children of ''un''-believers. It was expected that children of believers would be trained by their parents.
==Outreach in the Domestic Church==
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==Quotations==
 
"If your heart overflows with faith and love for God, you will find a thousand and two ways to pass on these feelings to your child." - [[Bishop]] [[Irenaeus of Lyons]]
==See Also==
 
*[[Icon corner]]
*[[Marriage]]
==External Links==
 
*[http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/family/veronis_building_domestic_church.htm Building the Domestic Church] by Presbytera Pearl Veronis
*[http://www.unicorne.org/orthodoxy/articles/alex_roman/iconcorner.htm The Icon Corner: A How To] by Dr. Alexander Roman
==Resources==
 
* Coniaris, Fr. Anthony. ''Making God Real in the Orthodox Christian Home'' (ASIN B0006COYQS)
* D'Avila-Latourrette, Brother Victor-Antoine, ''Blessings of the Table: Mealtime Prayers Throughout the Year'' (ISBN 0764809830) ([[Eastern Rite Catholic|Byzantine Catholic]])
* ''A Table Prayer Guide'' (Center for Family Care, familycare@goarch.org)
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[[Category:Church Life]]
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