How might we continue to be Church despite the church not being open? Structure is key to sustain any sort of prayer life – ask any monk or nun! But as Christians living in the world (and a chaotic one at that), we need some scaffolding to help us through the challenges of these days.
Daily prayer is, therefore, an important element in defining each day, of claiming it for a greater good. Again, please refer to our website and you will find on the home page a link which will take you to either Morning or Evening Prayer. I use this facility a lot. The readings are also provided. It is a great tool.
Have a time of silence during the day. This quiet time need not take long – just 10 minutes out from a busy day.
Sharing the faith is slightly more challenging. It is possible, within a household, to integrate some activities which lead to prayerfulness. Such faith tools would have been very commonplace a few generations ago. For example, praying a grace before a meal. I have a wonderful prayer dice which has graces printed on each side. Share rolling the dice amongst the family.
Take it in turn to throw the dice so that everyone has an opportunity to say a prayer ‘out loud.’
Praying as you wake. Before you reach for the mobile phone, pray the Our Father. Place a holding cross by your bedside and pray as you grip the wood of the cross. Before you go to sleep at night, reflect upon the day (in the exercise known by Jesuits as the examen). Look to see what happened, where God has been present. Thank God for the things which have brought growth and delight. Pray to god for those things which have felt deathly to you.
Finally, try to cook according to the season and even day of the week. Fish on Friday respects the tradition that each week we live Good Friday. No meat is eaten. This might be easier for vegetarians! Think about this Lenten season and the rich food which needs to be stored until the Easter celebrations – the feast of feasts.
I hope these thoughts have helped? I would like to direct you to the live streaming of the Eucharist this Sunday. Bishop Steven will preside from home! Go to https://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19/livestream/ I will hopefully be able to do something similar in the weeks to come but there is a bit of sickness in the vicarage at the present time.
As ever, please pray for one another as I pray for you.