The Loss of Ritual and the Challenge of COVID
Touching! I have created a Compline Circle for every night. Women who live alone praying and supporting each other during this extraordinary time.
This article really touched me today, as a "loss of ritual" is weighing heavily. So you asked what some have done? In Los Angeles, one of our summer traditions was to attend concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, so much so that we are season subscribers. This left a big hole. So we created an outdoor socially distanced "Backyard Bowl". Every Tuesday night, those who come bring a picnic dinner and beverages of their choice, I have set up a sound systems outdoors and programmed a different concert each week. We are fortunate to have enough backyard/patio space, that distancing 10 or 12 is quite easy. For most of us, it is the one event of "sanity" and "normalcy" we can look forward to each week. To be in the proximity of friends, enjoy picnic food, a glass of wine, and fine music is soul restoring.
This article really speaks to my heart. I am currently reading Grateful as a fun read in between the required readings for my first classes in Seminary, and I find that my heart has been opened even more to make space for grieving the loss of so many of my own personal rituals - let alone grieving ritual on a larger scale. I never realized how much important ritual is to my own life until most of it was gone. Thank you for helping us along!
I just texted my sister, asking her to get "first do of school pics" of her kids this weekend -- one heading off to her second year of college and one starting his senior year of high school. Thanks for the idea. #NewOldRituals
One of your best columns so far, Diana. Evocative, heartful, and practical. You are so right about ritual; until you named it I hadn't thought about how much I miss it and all that goes with it. Grateful for your thoughtfulness today.
I wrote a Blessing of the Face Coverings for our school community this fall:
O Lord God, you have given us a Law of Love that tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves: Accept our offering of these face coverings which we now dedicate to you for the health, safety, and well-being of your people. Grant that, as we conceal our faces with these coverings, we also reveal your Divine Love to one another; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
These are very helpful and thoughtful observations and ideas. But I can't envision, ever, a time of "looking back and remembering." In my mind, this is how it's going to be indefinitely, certainly past the end of my life. That is profoundly depressing, to say the least. My therapist keeps reminding me that this is temporary, but I see no evidence of that. Anyway, thank you for your thoughts. Very glad I subscribed.