Our Easter season is off to a joyous start, but we must keep in mind that this festive season lasts for fifty days. Easter worship takes a distinctive feel, with lots of alleluias, the paschal candle burning right by the high altar, our very best vestments and paraments every week, and glorious, joyous music. Why? Because we know no greater truth than that Christ is risen. And in Christ’s resurrection, we have new life. We celebrate throughout the fifty days of Easter that in our baptism we have been raised with Christ from the death of sin to the new life of grace.
This year, the whole thing just feels different, doesn’t it? We’re worshipping online, gathering on Zoom, and keeping a safe distance. I don’t know about you, but I’m longing to experience what I know is true: that the season of Easter bring incomparable joy. But much of the time here in the safety of home and the routine of it all, I’m just feeling blah.
I know this represents a near-universal experience of this time of isolation. People are looking for something new, some way to experience or feel or share something. So much of social media is filled with people’s cooking experiments, new, at-home workouts, clean-out-the closet projects, and the like. People are trying to find some sense of newness or renewal in all kinds of ways. People are doing this with little fear of failure and little risk involved, and that makes it all kind of fun—way more fun than just sitting watching that little lizard crawl back and forth along the wall for the hundredth time.
So, what if we tried some home spirituality experiments like so many of us are trying cooking experiments? Could we approach our spirituality with the same sense of freedom and excitement to try something new? I think we’re too often unnecessarily afraid to try something spiritually, or, perhaps we think that prayer isn’t something we’re allowed to experiment with. But why shouldn’t we?
Let’s give it a try. Let’s have some fun and see what we might experience. Here are several things to try out and see how you feel connected to God in doing so.
- Try a breath prayer. Sit comfortably and breathe in and out deeply. As you breathe in, say in your heart, “Jesus Christ, son of the living God,” and as you breathe out say, “Have mercy on me.” Do this for several minutes.
- Pull up the leaflet and pray Morning Prayer with us at 11:00 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
- Read a chapter of a book of the Bible each day, right before you go digging for that new recipe for dinner. Pick a book of the Bible and read it serially, a chapter each day. If you’ve never done this, start with the Gospel According to Mark.
- Read a chapter of the writings of one of the great Christian mystics like Julian of Norwich.
- You can even get on Zoom or a similar platform with several friends and experiment together.
Want more? Get in touch with any of the clergy. And remember, this is an experiment. It doesn’t have to be amazing. It doesn’t have to “work” every time. Sometimes experiments bear fruit and sometimes they don’t. We should be just as comfortable with this in our prayer life as we are with that recipe for chocolate salami (yeah, it’s a thing).