Every Orthodox home is a little church and as such needs to create an environment that fosters worship, spiritual education, outreach and fellowship; an environment that will meet the spiritual needs of a family, providing faith, love and wisdom. The Church is here to meet all those needs, and a family's well being is dependant on connecting with the Church. This connection isn't simply dependant on church attendance but on bringing the Church back home.
In this blog, I will be following the major feasts and fasts of the church year. With them, I will be offering simple ways of presenting the significance of them to children through the means of worship, spiritual education, outreach and fellowship as a family.
To begin with, though, it is important for each family to establish a consistent prayer routine. A time where we gather together to worship, husband and wife, sons and daughters. A time that reminds each and every one of us who is the center of our households: Christ. So, at this time, I would like to share our own Vespers service that Jesse and I have developed for our family.
The Lord's Prayer.
Most Merciful Father, I confess that I have sinned in thought, word, deed and omission by my own grievious fault. I am heartily sorry and firmly purpose amendment. Make me a clean heart, Oh God, and renew a right spirit within me. Pardon and deliver me from all my sins and bring me to everlasting life. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ Son of God who recieved the children who came to you, recieve also from the lips of us your children this evening prayer. Shelter us under the shadow of your wings, that in peace we may lay down and sleep. And when you awaken us, may we glorify you. For you alone are righteous and merciful. Amen.
Scripture Readings: We use the St. James Devotional Guide. The length of the readings depends on the patience of the children during a given evening. Sometimes it is just a few verses; sometimes a whole chapter.
Sing a hymn.