Updated: Sep 26, 2019
We throw around the phrase "Domestic Church", we talk about making our home a place of prayer, but what does that actually look like? And how can we do that with our limited time and resources? In this post, I'll share with you a few ideas for relatively inexpensive and easy ways to turn your home into a Domestic Church.
If you don't follow us on Twitter (@OldSoulRadTrad and @OldSoulPater), we did a thread about this recently. The best part about it was the comments from my wonderful followers. They shared their wonderful ideas, and I encourage you to check it out!
If you have no idea what I mean by Domestic Church, that's okay, too! I'm not going to spend time writing about it on here because it's been written about better and more thoroughly elsewhere. This article by Fish Eaters (a wonderful Catholic resource) is a great place to get introduced to the concept.
If you know what it is, but are still in the "who cares?" camp, here are a few of the many benefits to having Catholic art and imagery throughout your home:
They teach spiritual lessons visually and wordlessly.
They draw our hearts to Heaven throughout the day.
They aid mental prayer.
They evangelize to the visitors in their home.
A quick story on the power of images: I once volunteered for a Catholic retreat for college students. Before the retreat, we were asked to decorate some cardboard we would be using with religious imagery. Knowing that Confession was a big part of the retreat, I painted a picture of Jesus with his Wounds and Crown of Thorns in the Confessional (I wish I had kept it!). I received an anonymous note at the end of the retreat from a student on retreat. According to the note, he had needed to go to Confession, but was reluctant to. As he was contemplating getting out of the Confession line, he saw that painting, and it gave him the courage to stay. In this instance, that painting did the work of a 500-word sermon!
Practical Ideas for Your Home
And now to the meat of the post! Here are some things that have worked well at my house.
Putting Your Prayer Cards to Use
Cost to us: <$5
Materials: Twine, clothespins, and those prayer cards you have lying around
We used this to decorate the nursery. It's a visual representation of "being surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses"! Plus, the baby loves to look at it, and it's a great way to store the prayer cards for future use. Just take them off the clothespin and put them back when you're done.
Use the Art You Have
Cost to us: $10
Materials: Secular art hanging around the house, a tattered Pieta at an antique store
A family member gave me some modern art for the house. I switched it out with this picture of Our Lady I found at an antique shop—it's very tattered, but you can't tell here! You never know what you already have that you can turn into religious art.
Don't have one of those rare antique finds? Another option is to download religious art and print it at Costco or another cheap photo printing store. Just make sure that the image is public domain and a high enough quality to print as largely as you would like to.
Cost to us: $25
Materials: Perpetual Enrollment at a Monastery
If you're really on a budget, get your child perpetually enrolled with Carmelites for $25.
The spiritual graces far outweigh the material (obviously), but I don't think you could find something so beautiful for under $25! A double deal! One day I'll frame it, too.
Use Your Calendars
Cost to us: free
Materials: Parish Calendar
Religious calendars are underrated in the Catholic home. Not only do they help you stay on track with the liturgical calendar, but they usually have pretty art, too. One Twitter follower told me they save old calendars and frame the art. Brilliant!
For more ideas, check out our thread on Twitter. If you have an account, give us a follow. As always, post your ideas below!