THE HOME CHURCH MOVEMENT
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The Catholic Church both East and West, in many parts of the world are returning to their roots by re-instituting home churches, which are being operated from private homes or small structured centers.
This innovation is called the Home Church Movement. This undertaking is run mainly by Monks who own or rent a private home with a room large enough to accommodate 5 to 10 people for Sunday Mass, Bible Study and Evening Vespers. It may have a small sign out front identifying it as “Old Roman” or “Orthodox Catholic Christian Church”, or may have a simple Crucifix on the front of the building, but for all intents and purposes it looks like any other home.
The building is set in such a manner that the entrance for the worshipers doesn’t force them go through the living quarters to get to the Chapel. The Home Church is modeled after the early Monasteries which were occupied with, between two and four Monks, and had a Chapel, usually a converted living room, where the local people could, if they so desired, come to pray and partake in the celebration of the Mass or private meditation. The rest of the Monastery was a house like any other house consisting of the Kitchen and Monastic cells (Bedrooms), where the monks prayed privately and slept.
While beautiful, the larger church buildings are becoming too expensive to maintain. In fact, we expect the day will come when church property will no longer be tax exempt and it would be impossible to pay property taxes on the larger buildings.
The Home Church movement is now, as it was back in the day, for neighbors to come and attend services, or just to meditate without having to travel any great distance to get to Church. And while St. Finian Orthodox Monastery is used mostly by the monks in residence for daily Divine Liturgy (Mass) and Prayer (Divine Office) seven times a day, and where, unlike the larger impersonal Churches, each member of the congregation in a Home Church feels as if they belong to a Christian family.