When we first moved into our second home, I was lost on how to decorate. I even considered an interior decorator. I love the farmhouse rustic look and I spent hours on Pinterest looking for inspiration to help me achieve that look.
But something was missing… We had a single crucifix in the living room. I wanted to incorporate more of our faith into our home especially since I have an inquisitive 4 year old who notices everything. I’m a cradle Catholic so there are specific things that I still remember growing up in my childhood home.
If you are decorating or want to evaluate how your home can enhance your faith, here is a list of things that make a home distinctly Catholic. I also include links to my favorite items. Of course, don’t feel pressured to have all of them. Choose what is most meaningful to you and will strengthen your faith the most.
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How can I decorate my house the Catholic way?
The crucifix should be prominently displayed in a Catholic home. It’s a reminder of what Christ did for us. The devil hates the crucifix so it is good to have one in your home, preferably one in every room.
A home altar or a prayer corner
There are so many ideas out there. A home altar can be as elaborate as a decorated mantel with a kneeler or as simple as a single crucifix on the wall.
Every time we say our family prayers, we face the crucifix and it just helps to have a central place for focus. Kids (and adults!) can get easily distracted during prayer so a home altar is necessary.
This will give your child a visual to look at while saying prayers together. It would make it easier for your child to talk to God while looking at a crucifix or a picture of Mary while praying the rosary.
Catholic Home Altar Ideas
- A picture or statue of Jesus
- Blessed candles
- The Holy Bible
- Rosaries and prayer books
- A cloth in the liturgical color of the season
Ever since I became a mother myself, I have felt a strong connection to our Mother Mary. I know that she understands my daily struggles.
Teach your kids that Mary is our Mother too. I like to talk about how Mother Mary took care of Jesus and that she wants to help bring us closer to her Son.
Decoration Ideas for Mother Mary at home
I often imagine Mary doing the same things I am doing such as washing the dishes and doing the laundry. In fact, I often pray the rosary while I am doing housework.
- In your kitchen
- The laundry room
- A book shelf
- On the entryway table (Hi Mary!)
Ask her to pray for you while you are doing your day-to-day tasks.
A Rosary for each family member
How can we get into a better habit of praying the rosary more? Get a key holder to hang up your rosaries to remind you to pray them. Every family member should have their own. You can easily hang your rosary on a command hook.
By the way, this is my favorite rosary booklet I found on Etsy. It has beautiful simple artwork and helps me concentrate on the mysteries.
Hanging holy pictures on the wall will inspire us to pray and helps us focus when we are praying.
- Divine Mercy of Jesus
- Blessed Mother Mary
- Sacred Heart of Jesus
- Immaculate Heart of Mary
- Your patron saints
- St. Michael the Archangel
- The Holy Family
Have your child color or paint a picture of Jesus, Mary or their favorite saint. Don’t be afraid to hang up your child’s artwork. They will love it!
The Catholic Bible
Display your bible on the home altar and read a passage every night together. If your children are small, you can start with reading a small passage at a time. Make sure it’s a Catholic bible and not the Protestant bible which has missing books. I love this easy-to-read Catholic Children’s Bible.
If you are doing a Jesse Tree with your children this Advent season, read the passages that go along with it.
The Liturgical Calendar
If you want to live out the liturgical calendar at home, you need to print out a Catholic church calendar and hang it up in a central place. It’s a calendar that lists out all of the Holy Days of Obligation, feast days and solemnities. It tells you what liturgical season we are in, the color of the season and the monthly devotions.
Read a story with your kids on your favorite feast days and talk to them about why we are celebrating. I like to add those dates to my personal calendar so that I can plan ahead with what crafts and activities I want to do with the kids.
Keeping a small bottle of Holy Water will remind us of our baptismal promises. The devil hates holy water so always have it in your home.
You can use it to bless your house. Walk around and bless all the rooms. It will expel any evil that is in your home.
Hang a holy water font near your front door and use it to bless yourself often as a good habit. Teach your kids how to bless themselves while making the sign of the cross, the same way you do when you enter church. I just learned that holy water remits venial sin to make us worthy to receive our Lord during Holy Communion!
By the way, I love this fun tutorial from Catholic Icing on how to make a holy water bottle necklace craft with kids.
Keep blessed candles on your family altar or throughout your home. You probably already have some from your child’s baptism or maybe from your wedding day. Keep those and relight them on baptism anniversaries. Or you can bring any candle to your priest to have it blessed.
Light those blessed candles during prayer time. You are showing them that Jesus is the light of the world. Kids get so excited when it’s time to light a candle! Tell them that when we light a candle it is a special time and we must have good behavior while praying.
Prayer books and devotion pamphlets
There are so many beautiful Catholic prayer books and devotions you can buy or pick up at the back of the church. They will come in handy when you don’t remember how to pray a particular chaplet or maybe you don’t have a prayer quite memorized yet.
Get a simple Catholic daily prayer book that you can read together every day. We love this one for my 4 year old. The stories are simple and it contains a bible verse and a short prayer.
Tips for decorating on a budget
But decorating a home can get expensive! Here are some things to consider:
- Spread out your purchases. Make a list or a mental note of the things you want to buy. I usually plan to purchase what I need as it gets closer to my favorite feast days.
- Go treasure hunting at thrift stores. You never know what you will find at thrift stores and garage sales. I have seen decorative crosses, frames, holy pictures and even Nativity scenes. They may need a little repair or a fresh coat of paint.
- Try Ebay. It’s like the online thrift store! I go to Ebay every time I want to buy a book. I don’t mind buying used books and they are at least 50% off the retail price! My big giant crucifix in my fireplace room is from Ebay and it was so inexpensive and beautiful!
- Wait for the sales at stores. I love going to Hobby Lobby as they have a huge selection of Christian art, pictures frames and beautiful bible quotes for your home. Get on their email list to be notified of their sales. I always use their 40% off coupon.
- Make it yourself to save money. There are so many tutorials out there on how to make an Advent wreath or a Nativity scene. If you have the time, it will be worth it since you will be reusing it year after year. I made a post on How to Decorate an Advent Wreath!
Decorating through the Liturgical Year
Growing up, my family observed the liturgical year mostly through prayer and fasting. There wasn’t any extra decorating outside of Christmas decorating.
The liturgical year is so rich and so fun to honor. Decorating your home in small ways can really make a big impact on your children. Here are some ideas:
- Decorate your home altar according to the liturgical color of the season
- Make or buy an Advent Wreath
- Anticipate the birth of Jesus with a Jesse Tree
- Display a nativity scene. Wait to bring out Jesus until Christmas day
- Decorate a monthly feast table according to the feast days and the monthly dedication of the church year
Don’t forget this!
I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere but I believe it’s so important to keep:
A Record of Sacraments Received for each Family Member
In my experience, I was asked to present a copy of the sacraments I received before I could receive another (i.e. confirmation, matrimony). I was also asked for a copy of my child’s Baptism certificate when I need to register her child for catechism class. You don’t want to have to go through the inconvenience of requesting another copy of the sacraments you received especially if you have moved around. Keep it in the same place you keep your birth certificates and social security cards.
There will be a time in your life when you are looking for answers in the Catholic faith. As a cradle Catholic, I did receive the education but personally I always needed to understand the “whys” in order to deepen my faith. Or maybe I just need a written explanation so that I am able to defend my faith to others or one day be able to explain to my children when they start asking hard questions. Either way, this book is a must have.
Here’s a recap:
- The Crucifix
- A home altar or a prayer corner
- Mother Mary
- A Rosary for each family member
- Catholic Art
- The Catholic Bible
- The Liturgical Calendar
- Holy Water
- Blessed candles
- Prayer books and devotion pamphlets
- A Record of Sacraments Received for each Family Member
- Catechism of the Catholic Church book
What kind of home do you want to create for your family? What will inspire you to become the best person you want to be? How can you strengthen your relationship with Christ? Surround yourself with those things.
I know that was a long list but I hope I didn’t overwhelm you. Each one of us has a unique Catholic identity so no two homes will be the same.
I hope these ideas were a good starting point of inspiration for you as you set up and decorate your home the Catholic way. You don’t need to have all of these to live out a holy life. I want my children to be surrounded by images of Christ’s love for us and my hope is that they will emulate that love and learn about Christ as they grow their relationship with Him.
How do you decorate your Catholic home? I would love to see your suggestions and ideas in the comments below!
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