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Home Practice

This section explores the variety of ways that the home is organized as a venue for Catholic life and practice in particular cultures and contexts, including prayer at meals, priestly blessing of houses, and other forms of prayer and devotion done especially at home. 

In a number of Catholic cultures, shrines, statues and pictures in the home are an important—even presumed—marker of Catholic identity and devotion.  In Kerala, India, one will often see an image of the Sacred Heart above the front door, and a shrine of some sort in the living or dining room, usually including images and remembrances of deceased loved ones. In other cultures, religious images tend to find their place in more private spaces of the home, such as a bedroom. In the United States, the visual presence of Catholicism at home has diminished or become subtler, at least among Anglo-American Catholics, leaving religion as more an interior, invisible reality.  In many places where religious practice is not usually as evident, home practice does become more prominent on particular feasts. A family that has few visible religious images in the home might still decorate seasonally, with an Advent wreath, a crèche, and Easter decorations.