Section Index                        

 

PRIVATE DEVOTIONS

In every Orthodox Christian home, the family dedicates a specific area for the family sanctuary. This is usually adorned with an Icon of Christ, the Mother of God, a Patron Saint, a Prayer Book, the Holy Bible, and a hand censer. It is here also that Holy Water from Epiphany is kept along with flowers received at Church. In this place the family is united in prayer led by the parents, who read from the Holy Bible and the Prayer Book. There, young and old, stand in prayer before the Icons with a vigil light burning as a symbol of sacrifice and of the warmth and vitality of their faith.

As with corporate prayer in church, as too in private devotions, the use of Icons, the vigil light, the reading from Holy Scripture, and the Prayer Book, are definite aids and means of providing and cultivating spiritual concentration and growth. "Personal prayer is possible only in the context of community. Nobody is a Christian by himself, but only as a member of the body. Even in solitude, 'in the chamber', the Christian prays as a member of the redeemed community, of the Church. And it is in the Church that he learns his devotional practice."