Author Topic: Family Prayer  (Read 1107 times)

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Offline JimCBrooklyn

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Family Prayer
« on: February 16, 2011, 03:56:07 PM »
Greetings in Christ!

I'm a brand new catechumen, living in Russia, and one of the things suggested to me by my priest was not only that I start a daily prayer rule (morning and night), but that I do so with my wife. She is Baptized Orthodox, but as she was raised in the USSR and only more recently became observant, she is not sure of how everything works.

We have found a nice set of AM and PM prayers at an Antiochian Church Website (my priest told me I might be better finding prayers on my own, as he speaks only Russian, as long as they are Orthodox) linked from this forum, but are unsure about:

A) Exactly how an icon is to be venerated in the home
B) How to properly say prayers together, as man and wife. Standing side by side, kneeling? Hand in hand, or not? Spoken, quietly, loudly, or silently prayed?

Furthermore, as we have two little kids, and one is old enough that he has been saying some simple prayers for about a year now before bed, does anyone have experience incorporating their children into a prayer rule?

I really like the image my priest gave me of an Orthodox family as a "маленькая церковь", a little church, and we want to strive for that!

It is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.
-Metropolitan Kallistos Ware

Offline Michael L

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Re: Family Prayer
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2011, 05:04:26 PM »

If you are a member of the Russian Church than the prayers fround in the numerous prayerbooks that come from ther Russian tradtion wwould work well for you.

As for my family we do morning prayer together with me reading (simple chant) the prayers aloud in front of our Icon corner. My wife listens and she tries to keep the children quite (they are all very young but still grasp what we are doing). I also read the daily Epistle and Gospel then we venerate the cross that we keep the corner. Our evening prayer is a little different as the children are in bed well before my wife and I pray (though they also do a night time prayer prior to laying down). At this time my wife and I will switch off reading the evening prayers i.e. I read one then she reads one etc.

We have done this for a couple of years now and it is a part of our life but it took a while before it was a habit. We will sometimes add to or abbreviate our prayer rule so that the prayers are not dry. Once in awhile we will sing an akathist instead of the usual prayers. The goal is to come together to give thanks to God and ask for His forgiveness every morning and evening (and before and after meals for that matter).

Here are the daily prayers of the Russian tradition -

I would also advise you to read St. Theophan the Recluse and his advice on prayer rule is very helpful. see the links below:

In Christ,

P.S. start slow and be consistent!!

« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 05:08:33 PM by Michael L »

Offline Alpo

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Re: Family Prayer
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2011, 05:15:36 PM »
A) Exactly how an icon is to be venerated in the home
B) How to properly say prayers together, as man and wife. Standing side by side, kneeling? Hand in hand, or not? Spoken, quietly, loudly, or silently prayed?

Since I was chrismated a little over year ago I'm rather new to Orthodoxy but at least for me it seems that there are different practices in different local churches. IMHO it's a good idea to follow those customs that prevail in one's own parish/local church. Since you live in Russia perhaps you could ask your priest, your godfather or some other parishioner what is customary in Russia?
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011, 05:16:06 PM by Alpo »
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34