Illumined Path: The Liturgy of the Family

From "Making God Real in the Orthodox Christian Home," by Anthony M. Coniaris:

Illumined PathWhat takes place around the family table at mealtime may be described as the "liturgy" of the family. It begins and ends with prayer. Following the meal there can be a reading from the Bible or from devotional literature or the lives of the saints. We need to see the family meal as a place for true learning, sharing and praying. For some it is the only time when the entire family is assembled together. Here the child can interact with the adults; learn the art of conversation, both speaking and listening; find out what is going on in the lives of brothers, sisters, parents; celebrate in big and little ways the events of family and religious life such as birthdays, exams passed, first jobs, merit badges, major holy days, a new tooth, a promotion, and all other events that mean more when we share them with the people closest to us. ... Thus one of the truly great things in family life are the meals, the koinonia, and fellowship we share together. A shared meal with the whole family around the family table is what may be called a family sacrament, a means of grace, uniting the family to God and to each other. Illumined Path, providing reflections on finding Christ in our everyday lives, is a ministry of St. Elia the Prophet Orthodox Christian Church in Akron, Ohio.