As I lie here writing this I can hear the recording of an old service playing in my kid’s room.
As I mentioned before we have been “doing” a lot of church these days – as I’m having the services on playing each evening. But it’s very different than being in church. Especially for our children.
So how can we try and make this church at home feel more substantial? Well we are still figuring it out. But this is what we tried and enjoyed today:
1. We started the day with only candlelight for the few hours until church began. Trying to make the start special and preparing ourselves with a bit of stillness.
2. Just before service started we listened to the gospel on Let Us Attend as we normally do in the car.
3. We went to church (an upstairs den with a big TV that we rarely use). We followed along a lot with our copy of the Children’s Guide to the Divine Liturgy and I encouraged my kids to sing as much as they could. (Our parish finally got linked up so it was like we were at our home service hearing our usual hymns which the kids know by heart).
3. Thoughout the Liturgy, I encouraged the kids to see how often they could pick up on the phrase “Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit” and make the sign of the cross. Respectfully, of course!
4. We went and did our church school as we always do – while my husband stayed for the homily. In church I normally lead our littles anyways.
5. And then before communion we went around the house kissing all of our icons.
I have to admit. It wasn’t church, but it really felt connected and like we had been in church. Throughout we tried to encourage “if you wouldn’t do it in church don’t do it here” – to avoid some of the chitchat and rolling around on the floor. We all really missed communion and my kids really missed the prosphera (holy bread). I may see if we bake some this week to have for the end of service next week. Glory to God for all things! What an adventure.
What are you all trying? Would love to hear!