More than 2000 people danced on May 24th in Budapest, Hungary as part of a global flashmob. In 2017 the global Christian movement, Up to Faith, is dedicated to raising awareness to the importance of the natural family model and to convince politicians and world leaders to represent the natural values of traditional families.
From the Introduction of Familiaris Consortio:
The Precious Value of Marriage and of the Family
3. Illuminated by the faith that gives her an understanding of all the truth concerning the great value of marriage and the family and their deepest meaning, the Church once again feels the pressing need to proclaim the Gospel, that is the “good news,” to all people without exception, in particular to all those who are called to marriage and are preparing for it, to all married couples and parents in the world.
The Church is deeply convinced that only by the acceptance of the Gospel are the hopes that man legitimately places in marriage and in the family capable of being fulfilled.
Willed by God in the very act of creation, marriage and the family are interiorly ordained to fulfillment in Christ and have need of His graces in order to be healed from the wounds of sin and restored to their “beginning,” that is, to full understanding and the full realization of God’s plan.
At a moment of history in which the family is the object of numerous forces that seek to destroy it or in some way to deform it, and aware that the well-being of society and her own good are intimately tied to the good of the family, the Church perceives in a more urgent and compelling way her mission of proclaiming to all people the plan of God for marriage and the family, ensuring their full vitality and human and Christian development, and thus contributing to the renewal of society and of the People of God.
Here below are some well-tested ‘Domestic Church Traditions‘ to help us keep our homes and families holy and Catholic!
The blessing of the home: Whether your domestic church is a house or an apartment, invite a priest to come to bless it, either when you first move in or at any time. In addition to blessing your home, you may enthrone your home to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Invite a priest to assist you with the enthronement or do it on your own by hanging up the images in your home and praying the following prayer together.
Act of family consecration: Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary, we consecrate ourselves and our entire family to you. We consecrate to you: our very being and all our life. All that we are. All that we have. And all that we love. To you we give our bodies, our hearts and our souls. To you we dedicate our home and our country. Mindful of this consecration, we promise you to live the Christian way by the practice of Christian virtues, with great regard for respect for one another. O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary, accept our humble confidence and this act of consecration by which we entrust ourselves and all our family to you. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
Devotions: Praying the Rosary is a popular devotion for many Catholic families, who, through its mysteries, reflect on significant events in Scripture pertaining to Jesus and Mary. Wearing the brown scapular is a devotion whereby the person places himself or herself under the protection of the Blessed Mother.
Sacred images and sacramentals: A domestic church should be filled with sacred images and sacramentals. Holy pictures and crucifixes should be hung throughout. A holy-water font can be placed by the front door in order to bless oneself with holy water and remind you of your Baptism. Holy water should be regularly sprinkled throughout the home.
Parental blessings: Parents can trace the Sign of the Cross with their thumb or forefinger on their child’s forehead at any time while asking God to bless him or her.
Celebrate namedays: Celebrate your family’s namedays, which are the days dedicated to each person’s patron saint.
Follow the liturgical year: Families can pray the Liturgy of the Hours together.
Creating family traditions: Establish your own family traditions. Enjoy regular dinners together, connecting as a family, sharing and praying together. Incorporate a holy pilgrimage into the family vacation by visiting shrines.
A Prayer Corner: A few sacred tangible items placed in view makes praying more touchable for our children. A prayer table or prayer corner set up in a gathering area of the home can help to draw our attention to the sacred rather than the secular.
In its explanation of favourable places for prayer and worship, the Catechism tells us, “For personal prayer, this can be a ‘prayer corner’ with Sacred Scriptures and icons, in order to be there, in secret, before our Father [Mt 6:6]. In a Christian family, this kind of little oratory fosters prayer in common” (No. 2691).
To create this prayer corner, simply place a small table in your dining room or living room, wherever best suits your needs. A beautiful icon or a crucifix can be hung on the wall above the table. A Bible, prayer books, holy water and basket of rosary beads can be placed on the table. Children’s books on saints or with Bible stories can fill a basket or bookshelf nearby. You might want your prayer table to reflect the various seasons in the liturgical year, adorning it with flowers on holy days or Marian feast days. A candle can be lighted or incense burned (with adult supervision) for family prayers, making the occasion of prayer more ceremonious.
Children can sit upon pillows or mats as they gather for morning or evening prayer or while listening to an age appropriate inspirational story. They can be encouraged to draw holy pictures to decorate the area. Prayer petitions can be scribbled on paper and placed on the prayer table.
This unique area will grow with your children as you replace the large wooden rosary beads with grown-up beads and change the books for little the young with more mature ones. With a smidgen of time, some thought and prayer, you will have fashioned a little oratory for holy encounters, a place of refuge. Even when not in use, your prayer corner stands as a reminder of a holy reason for your days within the home.
O Holy Family of Nazareth, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, bless our families, love and protect them from the devil’s snares. Help us to imitate and mould our homes too on the holy virtues so pleasing to God that You espoused so faithfully and so perfectly, so that one day we shall all be united in One Holy Catholic Family together forever in Heaven. Amen