Friday, March 25, 2016

Maundy Thursday Prayer Loom

Today is Good Friday, the day no bread can be consecrated.  My mind is full of past Good Fridays--the day that our church's labyrinth was vandalized, and I spent Good Friday helping to clean up and lay new roof tiles along the outline.  I think of the times that we got the grounds spruced up for Easter.  Last year we were on a plane to Hawaii, flying backwards across Good Friday.

This morning I'm feeling an interesting mix of contentment and anxiety.  I'm travelling tomorrow, off to two retreats, including one with Kathleen Norris at Mepkin Abbey.  My spouse stays home to take care of his teaching duties.  I will go to Good Friday service, sleep for a bit, and get up in the wee, small hours of the morning to blaze north.  I will see grad school friends, one of my best undergrad mentors, retreat friends, and 2 of my favorite locations on earth (Mepkin Abbey and Lutheridge).  I have a lot to do today to get ready.

But it will get done.  Today my heart is also happy.  Last night during our Maundy Thursday meal and service, I thought, this may be may favorite service.  Of course, I think that about many a service that's out of the ordinary.  I had similar thoughts about Ash Wednesday.

Oddly, I rarely feel that way about Easter.  As a Christian, Easter should be my favorite.  But it's not.

I like the non-Easter, non-Christmas services because they give us room to experiment.  Last night was amazing.  We've developed a service that incorporates a true dinner.  Not much experiment there.  No, last night's experiment was the prayer loom.

I wasn't sure if anyone would actually use it, and it was slow at first.  But eventually, everyone joined in the fun:

We had a variety of yarns, and I encouraged people to choose a yarn or texture that would represent their prayer.  I said that we would weave our individual prayers together into a tapestry.

We don't quite have a tapestry yet.  We will leave the loom up to see what happens.  I know that some people will return to weave some more.  And I plan to use it for Vacation Bible School.

I'm intrigued by smaller scale prayer looms, as well as this group project.  But more than that, I continue to be intrigued by prayer practices that incorporate some sort of physicality beyond speech and folded hands and kneeling.

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