There are a few non-essential ones, too! Perhaps this list will inspire you to bring some of these holy and helpful items into your home.
Being a “good” Catholic is something most of us strive to become throughout our lives. While our behavior should reflect our faith, we also have a number of tools to help us in achieving our goal.
These include some essential items that can be helpful as you try to put your faith into practice and deepen your spiritual journey. Not every household will have all of them at hand (which is perfectly normal and okay!), but here is a list of items that many Catholic households find useful and meaningful:
This is the most fundamental book for Catholics and all Christians. It’s important to have a Bible in your household for reading and reflection. It’s even better if it’s one that has been passed down through generations with favorite passages earmarked by loved ones who’ve gone before us. If you are not fortunate enough to have such a Bible in your family, then you can start the tradition now and begin marking your Bible for future generations. Bibles are available in many versions and translations, but if you’re just starting out, be sure to select a Catholic version.
Crucifix or Cross
The crucifix is a central symbol for all Catholics, reminding the faithful of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Alternatively, a simple cross can also serve as a powerful symbol of faith. You might want to have one in a prayer corner, or have multiple crosses around the home as a constant reminder of the importance of your faith in daily life.
Rosary beads are instrumental in facilitating your prayer practice. Again, you can have multiple rosaries that have been blessed at sacred sites to use in prayer. Remember, you can also have one in your pocket or purse for when you’re out and about.
Many Catholic households have a container of holy water, which is often used for blessings and spiritual protection. You can ask your parish priest to give you some water that has been blessed to take home.
Icons or Religious Art
Images of saints, the Virgin Mary, and other religious figures are common in Catholic households. They serve as reminders of the spiritual presence and intercession of these figures. You might have a favorite saint or patron saint in your household, so having their image might help you in your prayers, or be a constant reminder of their virtuous lives and intercessory powers.
Missal or Daily Prayer Book
Having a missal or a daily prayer book can provide guidance and structure for personal and family prayer. Many people subscribe to the magazine Magnificat. You can also access prayers and readings online, or use an app such as Hallow to help you.
These are objects blessed by a priest and used to aid in various devotions. Examples include scapulars, medals, and religious medals. Often these might be collected over the years and given as gifts for Baptism or Holy Communion
These are candles specifically designated for prayer. They often have images of saints or religious symbols on them.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
A catechism provides a systematic explanation of the beliefs and teachings of the Catholic Church. This is useful to refer to from time to time and get a reminder of the teachings, especially when there are changes going on in society and you want to know the Church’s perspective.
In addition to the Bible and catechism, having other spiritual and religious books can be enriching for personal study and reflection. There are a myriad of books available now online if you’re a fan of e-books.
Incense and Thurible (optional)
Some Catholic households use incense during prayer or for special occasions to create a sense of reverence and solemnity. The very aroma of incense will surely summon up the feelings you have when in church.
Blessed Oils (or Blessed Salt)
Remember, these items are suggestions and not mandatory for every Catholic household. It’s more important to cultivate a deep and genuine faith through prayer, reflection, and living out the teachings of Jesus Christ in your daily life.