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Erik A. wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • What do Catholics do when they enter the homes of other Catholics?
  • Is it customary to pay their respects at their altar?
  • If so, what do they usually do? i.e. bow at the altar or . . . something else?


  { What do Catholics do when entering the homes of other Catholics: do they respect an altar? }

Eric replied:


If Catholics of the Roman Rite had such a custom, it's fallen into desuetude. I've never heard of it.

While they may have devotional objects, Catholic homes generally do not have altars or prayer corners per se, though they should. (I have a prayer corner with icons, incense, prayer books, candles, holy cards, and whatnot.)

Maybe my colleagues have more exposure to this.

Eric Ewanco

Bob replied:


First of all, there is no such custom. Catholics don't have altars in their homes; altars are in churches. Unless the home included a chapel, which is like a small church, there would be no altar. Even then, there is no custom as you described.

Generally, when Catholics greet other Catholics (in homes or otherwise) there is no standard or particular custom particular to Catholicism rather than the current culture for that time.

St. Paul tells us in Holy Scripture to greet one another with a holy kiss (2 Corinthians 13:12; Romans 16:16), in which you may see an analogue in the European custom, but even that's a stretch.

Sorry I couldn't give you something more.


Bob Kirby

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