The most important feature of a Christian and Orthodox home, above all, is that the home is consecrated. In addition, a Christian home should have: an icon, a candlestick, a chandelier and a candle, a prosfornik seal, a censer, basil and incense, the Holy Scriptures and a prayer book.
Every Christian home should have an icon of its baptismal glory. The icon is placed in the most formal room, dining room or living room, and always on the east wall. In addition to the icon of the baptismal glory, it is desirable to have an icon of Christ the Savior and an icon of the Mother of God in the house, and an icon of another saint who is especially revered in that home, an icon of Saint Sava, an icon of the Presbyterian Church, and the like. The Orthodox Church has its own rule in iconography. The Byzantine style is most represented in icon painting, and realism can also be present.
When the icon is bought, if it is not consecrated (ALL ICONS ON OUR WEBSITE ARE CONSECRATED), it is taken to the priest for consecration. Somewhere it is practiced that the icon stays in the church for several weeks. The newly consecrated icon is placed in a Christian home. It is good that there is a small table in front of the icon on which all the things and objects mentioned above would stand. All Christian rites and prayers in the house are performed in front of the icon.
Chandelier appears in front of the icon. It is lit on the eve, on the day of every holiday and every week, and it can burn continuously. The chandelier is usually lit and maintained by the housewife. Pure sunflower oil burns in the candle, on the surface of which a special wick for the candle is placed.
The lamp and the flame on it symbolize the light of the science of Christ and the light of the life of the saint before whom the lamp is lit. At the same time, he reminds everyone in the house that they too should live a bright and clean life. Those who have a candle in their house know what a unique spiritual atmosphere is created by the quivering flame of a candle on the eve of holidays and Sundays. This is especially engraved in the child’s soul, and remains as the dearest memory from childhood until the end of life. That atmosphere is an inexhaustible inspiration for all artistic and poetic souls, and many great works were created inspired by that quivering and unforgettable light and play of shadows of a domestic lamp.
The candlestick and the candle
Not a single rite or prayer can be performed in the house without a candle. The lamp and the candle stand in a place of honor in the house and are always lit before prayer. The host lights the candle in the following way: First, he crosses himself, mentions God and his baptismal glory, kisses the candle and, if possible, lights it with a match. The celebratory candle is extinguished with wine, and the smaller candle is blown out, or the flame and burning wick are squeezed with a wet thumb and forefinger. The candle flame has the same symbolism as the candlestick.
Letter, anaphornik, prosfornik
It is a wooden stamp that is pressed into the Slavonic cake. The letter, just like the icon, is taken to the church for consecration. The seal has engraved letters: ИС ХС НИ КА which means Jesus Christ wins.
Basil is an aromatic plant with a pleasant smell, which is grown in gardens and flower beds. The basil is collected, placed in a bouquet (кита), tied around the waist and dried. Such is kept throughout the year and is brought out when the priest consecrates the water to sprinkle the household with it. Basil and its pleasant fragrance symbolize the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Incense burner, embers and incense
The incense burner in the home is usually handmade, made of earth or metal, and has a variety of shapes that are in keeping with the Christian spirit. Wood embers are placed in the censer (coal has an unpleasant smell) and incense is placed on the embers, which spreads a pleasant and mild smell. Since there are often no embers in the cities, it is necessary to get a special briquette in rings that replaces the embers and is very practical. The censer and the embers in it symbolize our ardent love for faith and the warmth of our Christian souls. The smell of incense symbolizes the grace of the Holy Spirit. The censer is used during every prayer. The host incenses, holding a censer in his right hand and makes the sign of the cross with it. The censer is also kept in a ceremonial place in the house.
Holy Scripture – Bible
In the Christian world, one cannot imagine a home without the Holy Scriptures. In the Christian West, in every hotel room, near the headboard, there is a Holy Bible, which is available to the guest so that he can read a chapter from this holy book and thereby strengthen himself spiritually. Unfortunately, in our country, the Holy Bible is not a very common book in homes. That is why every home should have this book. Of course, the priests and the church should work on this the most, especially for the sake of our children, youth and the future of this nation. One cannot understand history, philosophy, art, literature, music, in a word, the entire civilization, without the Bible. The Bible or the Holy Scriptures (these are the names for the same book) has not only a cultural, but, above all, a spiritual, prayerful, religious and educational character. To make it easier for a young person to enter the wonderful world of the Bible, our church printed the book “Illustrated Bible for Young People”, with which the spirit of the Holy Scriptures is easily understood and quickly grasped. That is why it is good that every Serbian home has this book, primarily for the sake of children and youth. By the way, the Holy Bible is the most sacred, most valuable, oldest and most widespread book in the history of the world, printed and today it is printed in millions of copies all over our planet.
The prayer book is usually a smaller pocket book, in which prayers are printed for various occasions, needs, and times in the life of a Christian. It would be desirable for every house to have this book. The prayer book stands in front of the icon. When home prayer is performed, prayers are read from the prayer book.
In addition to common prayer, every Christian has his own personal, intimate prayer. Before every work, before and after eating, in the evening when lying down and in the morning when getting up, in times of trouble and in good times, one should always make the sign of the cross and read the appropriate prayer, and sincerely, from the depths of the soul, pray and thank God.