Would like to set up a home altar but


Hi there

I am still on my journey home to the Catholic Church but have spent a lot of time praying and reading my Bible lately. I have been going into a Catholic church to pray and say the Rosary - whenever I haven’t after daily Mass. However, I would really like to consecrate a place within my house for prayer and devotion along the lines of a home altar as I am bringing my children up Catholic also.

But there is only one obstacle in my way from doing this and that is my husband to-be is a non-Catholic and it is as much his house as it is mine. He is VERY respectful of my journey into the Catholic faith and supports me 100% and also respects my wishes to raise the children Catholic also. I am not sure how best to approach this without offending him or disrespecting him and his beliefs.

He respects that I go to Mass almost everyday before work and also on a Sunday and also gives me space to pray too. How can I approach this situation? I also want to have a wall crucifix in the childrens bedroom but don’t know how to approach that either. My parish priest is off on holiday just now so I cannot ask him for advice on this matter either.

Also, what would one suggest would go on a home altar too please?

Thanks in advance for your answers.

God bless

“In the morning let me know your love; for I put my trust in you. Make me know the way I should walk; to you, I lift up my soul.” - PSALM 143:8


He sounds open and accommodating. Why not simply ask?

How to ask…Don’t tell him you want a Catholic makeover of the house, just say it would mean a lot to you to have your own prayer space with pictures of Jesus, etc. to do your Catholic devotions, and maybe to put up a couple crucifixes in the house. If he says no to having a Catholic theme throughout the house, I should think he’d be willing at least to allow you to have your own devotional area somewhere. He did, after all, marry a Catholic.


I agree with Ad Orientem. It doesn’t have to be a large area. I have a small oratory in my house for the Divine Office. I keep it plain and simple because that’s the Benedictine spirit. My wife (Anglican) doesn’t object at all even though we both pray differently.

I modeled it somewhat on a Carthusian’s private oratory, even though my spirituality is Benedictine. It’s located in my home office:



Until you have a prayer corner, there’s the cloister of your heart, which works at home, on the bus, at the office, or wherever you happen to be! :stuck_out_tongue:


I agree with he poster above, just ask him. When I first married my wife I was far from the Church (and far from Christianity). She asked if she could hand some crosses on the walls and I didn’t object. Honestly, I think most guys basically figure decorating the house is more in the woman’s “wheelhouse” anyhow.


Very nice.


I have a different take on these home “altars” (a misnomer, as altars are solely for sacrifice, the only valid altars should be in church’s, oratories, or chapels where the mass will be said).

OraLabora’s example of a small oratory in his house seems very appropriate since he has a special devotion of saying the Divine Office everyday, and having a set aside place for that is really beneficial.

But I am not for sure it is always wise idea. I think religious artwork and cruxifixes in the house are a really good idea, and they can certainly be used for prayer. However, having a set place where we go to do all of our prayers seems a little off. Our kids should not see us going off to pray only in a special place. When we say the rosary, or the Angelus, or other small devotions, it should be in various places. I guess I am saying: our prayer life should not be separated from the rest of our lives.


Well the Angelus is meant to be said wherever you are when it rings. Carthusian monks for example, drop to their knees wherever they happen to be when the Angelus bell rings.

Jesus did say something though, about closing the door and praying in private but I think He meant it in the sense of “don’t make a show if it”.

I used to travel a lot, and my “oratory” necessarily had to be in my heart because I would be on a plane, a hotel room, etc. Before I had the one in the picture, I used a cedar closet. Smelled nice but was very stuffy.


Hi OraLabora,

That is so beautifully done! :slight_smile:

I really love the way you have it all set up.


Hi chezel,

You can set your altar or space up, however you want.

I don’t have an altar set up, really. I have areas set up all over our place. It comforts me to have religious pictures and items in each room. I just have a few things in each room. There is a crucifix in each room. I picked up on that idea, from one of my Grammas. She was Catholic, and she did the same thing in her home. She had a crucifix in each room.

In our master bedroom though, I have one of our night tables set up with statues on it, like a little prayer corner. I have my Rosaries on it, my prayer books and booklets on it, and above it is a crucifix. Inside of the table are more prayer books and my Bibles.


If you walked into my home, you might not even know a Catholic or Christian resides there…no make over of the house as an outward sign of my love for Christ to be found (not that there is anything wrong with a prayer corner/room in one’s home).

The makeover I experienced was in my heart, which is my prayer room. The wonderful thing about it is it is accessible everywhere I go, even in secular places where expression of religion is frowned upon.

Peace and all blessings!


Having a special place and time for formal prayer need not exclude prayer at other places and times; on the contrary, it should nourish and support it. Having sacred space and sacred time honors God, helps us focus, maintains discipline, and teaches kids that we take God seriously – that is, provided the sacred is treated as such.


good point. I acknowledge there are times when that is very appropriate and useful. But in general, I would not find it useful.


I know of some people who have their altars/shrines set in a cabinet that is hung on a wall. They can open and close it as necessary.

Some have it as part of a shelving system, so the whole thing is multi use.

The cabinet doors offer extra space to hang items or even a candle holder, as when the doors are open, the candle will not have anything above it that might catch fire.

A roll top or drop down desk is another option.

If you husband doesn’t mind make a space in the home. It’s good for people to be reminded of the sacred, and that it’s good to take it seriously and make it a part of daily life.


This is as close as I come to an “altar”. Just some items of meaning to me, polish boxes with rosaries, certificate of consecration to Mary, pictures of my children’s first communion, etc. It is in the common area of my home and anyone who enters my house knows right away that it is a Catholic home.

I don’t pray in front of it but am comfortable praying anywhere - kitchen table, patio, anywhere - but I do go to adoration almost daily.




Thanks to everyone who replied to this thread, you all have been a tremendous help! He has agreed for me to have a space so very happy that he is being very accommodating. Once I have it all set up, I will post a photo.

God bless you all

*In the morning let me know Your love, for I put my trust in You. Make me know the way that I should walk; to You, I lift up my soul - PSALM 143:8 *


Hi chezel,

That’s great! Looking forward to seeing a picture, once you get everything set up. :slight_smile:


If he is open to it, then just ask him.

As far as altars go, we are limited on space so we put all of our spiritual materials on a bookshelf and our statues and a crucifx on top of the same bookshelf in the most prominent part of the house, the living room. We have a marriage cross in our bedroom and planning to get a last supper picture for the dining room.


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