Creating a Sacred Space
With the onset of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, we are now worshiping virtually with our faith communities. While gathering in this manner has proven to be a great way to stay connected with the practice of coming together for Sunday services and fellowship, the practices of weekday prayer, meditation and reflection have taken on an even greater role during these turbulent times.
Your sacred space or altar can be a “pop-up” and doesn’t have to be permanent, especially if you are using furnishings, such as a small table, that serve other household purposes.
Creating a sacred space or altar is quite simple and most likely can be done with objects that you already have on hand. Selecting your space and the items that adorn it is a great family activity.
- Step 1: Location Pick a special area of your home where you can set up your altar or sacred space. This can be a corner of a room. You might use a table or a nightstand as an altar. There is really no one “perfect” place for your sacred space or altar. The point is to find just enough space where you can put your items (see step 2) and be able to sit near them. Ideally, your space is not in a hallway or spot you have to walk through or walk over.
- Step 2: The Elements of the Space
CLOTH: Drape your table or other type of altar with a cloth. Because God is accessible at all times, set the table for God to come and be with you.
CANDLE & WATER: Add a candle to be the light of Christ guiding us and put it in your sacred space. Flameless/Electric candles are fine too. Finally find a bowl or pitcher for water, to remind us of God’s cleansing power.
CROSS or other symbol of Good Friday: If you don’t have a cross, you could always make one out of paper, two sticks tied together with twine, or even popsicle sticks. A nail is an appropriate symbol of Good Friday that can adorn your space as well.
- Step 3: Personalize with other objects Remember not to over decorate or clutter your space or altar. Simplicity is best. There are no “right” or “wrong” items for your altar, so just trust your intuition and allow yourself to be led to the ones that resonate with you the most. Perhaps an icon (or have your family draw them), objects from nature that remind you that God’s creation is all around us or a Bible or Book of Common Prayer are all appropriate additions. Flowers, another reminder of God’s creation and abundance, are also lovely.
- Step 4: Bless your space When you feel that your altar is complete, set aside a few minutes to bless the space. Of course, Bishops are the only ones who can formally bless altars in church, but you certainly can say a prayer over the space you have created.
- Step 5: Incorporate it into your life It’s important to actually use the space. Don’t’ just make it look pretty and admire it as a decoration in your house. We hope this altar will be a reminder for you to stop and pray, not just in holy week but, every day. In the morning say a brief prayer for God to be in your head, heart, and mouth. This is a wonderful way to get your whole family started as we practice social distancing in our daily lives but stay in close contact with God, resting in the warm embrace of love.