Patriarch Ilia of Georgia: Raise Children With Family Prayer

Patriarch Ilia of Georgia: Raise Children With Family Prayer


In a recent sermon, His Holiness Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia emphasized the importance of attending church as a family and praying together every evening. The Patriarch said:

Today I want to talk to you of the significance of the Church in our lives. The Church is the gateway to the Heavenly Kingdom. And blessed is the family or the person who stands before these gates. Blessed is he who feels the significance of the Church. A special grace is present in the Church. The grace of the Holy Spirit…

I want to recall my childhood. There was no Sunday or Saturday, when our father, mother, and all of us children missed a church service…

I remember how my parents prepared before going to church. How they prepared our clothes, cooked the meal… When we departed on Saturday and returned on Sunday, dinner was ready…

I do not remember a day when we did not stand in prayer together in the evening.

This is the way we should raise our children. With love. I cannot remember any loud word in our family, nor a shout. There always was peace and quiet, and we, children, inherited this from parents.

As St. John Chrysostom said, “Fathers and mothers: Go and lead your child by the hand into the Church.” And elsewhere: “With us everything should be secondary compared to our concern with children, and their upbringing in the instruction and teaching of the Lord.”

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