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    Ideas for Building Your Domestic Church

    COVID-19 has forced families to stay at home, providing an opportunity for men to lead their families in both new devotions and age-old traditions

    By Drew Dillingham 4/14/2020
    (GettyImages)

    As parishes across the world temporarily close, Knights must step into the breach and embrace their duties to lead their own domestic churches: their families. Here are some activities Knights can introduce for spiritual nourishment at home.

    Offer spiritual bouquets – A spiritual bouquet is a collection of prayers or spiritual devotions that the sender will offer for the recipient. Families can design cards listing the prayers and send them to those in need, especially relatives, first responders, health care workers and nursing home patients. Families can also work with local groups to send care packages along with their spiritual bouquets.

    Pray the rosary – The rosary is a powerful devotion for families that desire sainthood. One way to introduce this spiritual practice to children is to help them make their own rosaries. You can find guides for making rosaries online. Make some extras and send them to relatives and those in need. You can use our Guide to Praying the Rosary (#4772) or A Scriptural Rosary for the Family (#319) to pray together as a family.

    Build a prayer space – Creating a space that is set aside for prayer in your home will improve the prayer life of your family. Prayer spaces can be as simple or elaborate as you want. Work with your family to choose a space, erect holy images or statues, add some candles and dedicate it strictly for prayer. Once you have created your prayer space, set aside some time for daily prayer together.

    Bring Prayer to your Backyard – Especially during the current quarantine, being inside for too long can get dreary. Purchase a statue of Jesus, Mary or a saint who is important to your family. Then create a garden or special location in your yard to place the statue. Once its finished, schedule a time to pray together as a family, invoking the blessing of your family’s patron.

    Make Daily Prayer a Routine - Praying together as a family is a great way to experience the presence of God in the midst of our everyday lives. While there are many ways to pray, using the Bible as the center and focus of family prayer time can be fruitful and instructive for everyone.

    Here are some ways to structure your daily prayer time:

      • Place a Bible in your family prayer corner.
      • Gather as a family and begin with a prayer to the Holy Spirit, asking for guidance and understanding of God’s Word.
      • Read the Sunday Gospel aloud.
      • Discuss the passage.
      • Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the gift of God’s Living Word.

    More ideas for structured prayer and meditations are available in the booklet Family Fully Alive (#10162).

    Learn more about the Saints – There are countless holy men and women who devoted their lives to care for those in need during times of sickness, pandemic and plague, such as Father Michael McGivney, The Four Holy Marshals, St. Damien of Molokai and the Fourteen Holy Helpers. Research books, articles and videos that explore the lives of the saints and teach your children about how Christians have helped others during times of pandemic.

    Share your story of how your council is helping strengthen people’s faith and offering support during this time. Email knightline@kofc.org.

    Originally published in a special bi-weekly edition of Knightline, a resource for K of C leaders and members. To access Knightline’s monthly archives, click here.

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