Family Life: The Domestic Church

Upon marriage there is a “great mystery” in the communion of the “two become one”.  Paul speaks of this mystery in Eph. 5:21-33, which is often read at the Rite of Crowning (Wedding Ceremony of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church).

In part this mystery concerns the creation of something more than just a common household or family, but in living out the mystery,  we actually begin to build the church in our home.  In this way the heavenly realities become a part of our daily lives–as we work, play and build our family life with Christ at the centre.

We recognize that for many of us family life can be or has been a source of pain and deep hurt, for all have fallen short of God’s original plan for us.  This is all the greater reason to bring the forgiveness, mercy and healing of Christ to the heart of our lives to allow Him to transform us.  In this way throughout our lives we can be formed daily into a more faithful likeness or icon of Him so that all of us might reach our ultimate andImage-224x300 eternal destiny of union with God–or heaven. Personal growth in our faith as well as the formation of our children are central  tasks of the domestic church–regardless of what form it may take.

NOT ALL DOMESTIC CHURCHES ARE IDENTICAL; and they may take the form of:

1.  Married couples with children–natural or adoptive;

2. Childless couples–either because of infertility or children having grown and left home;

3.  Single parents; or the

4.  Widowed , Separated /Divorced.

All are called to grow in Christ and are offered the love and support of the Church.

Central in the life of our domestic church is a vibrant  life of prayer.  Prayer can and must be both communal and personal.  One supports the other.  Not only that but both draw their life from the active participation in the Liturgical life of the church, particularly the celebration of the Sunday Divine Liturgy and the calendar of the church. (Feasts and Fasts)  Faithful and active participation in and support of the ministries of a local parish also complement the life of the domestic church.  (Stewardship)  We also are called to serve others and to bring the life of the Kingdom out into the world through our acts of service and love for those in need.

Whether we are doing housework, caring for children, sharing a meal, studying, praying or playing,  God is with us.  Let us pray that every word spoken and every action taken in our ‘domestic church’–no matter how mundane it may seem– glorifies God and draw us closer in love to each other and to Him!

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