Home Altars 

By Kim Roberts

Being Catholic and of Italian descent, I have seen many home altars throughout the years. Some were gloriously appointed, and some simple and understated.

I have to admit when I first got married, I hadn’t given much thought to setting one up. I had crosses all over the house along with religious artwork and family heirlooms.

It wasn’t until my son, who is now 22, came home from school one day and said, “Mom, where is our family altar.” Hmm, that’s was a good question from the second grader. I have to admit, I was a bit embarrassed I had not done this yet.

So, I decided to let my two children take the lead.

Whatever they wanted the altar to be set up, whatever objects, that would be our family altar.

I let them lead the way.

They chose a medium-sized round table that we already had and placed it close to the front door in the den so everyone would see it as the came in and left the house. I thought this was a great idea as it was a constant reminder in our busy day-to-day life to pray.

A red table cloth was placed on top and then the first items were placed. Our family Bible, rosaries, saint cards, a crucifix, lucky beans, candles, the kid’s artwork, family pictures and a statue of the Blessed Mother.

As the years have gone by, we have added to the altar, many statues have found a home, prayer books, items from our trip to Rome and the Vatican, many more prayer cards and anything they felt was special enough to adorn our altar.

During the holidays this is where we place our advent wreath. Two of my children have moved out, and I have one child at home who has kept up the tradition.

It serves as a reminder of our Catholic faith and our heritage. This little project that began so many years ago has become woven into the fabric of our family and serves as a simple way to incorporate God into our home and lives every single day.

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