Keeping Celebrations Special in a Time of Social Distancing
BY ELLYN SCHINDLER
For many, holiday celebrations are marked by food, festivities and a house filled with family and friends. When these celebrations have a religious connection, it’s not unusual for hundreds of individuals to congregate, and share in prayer, worship and music.
Yet, given the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), how do you find meaningful connection in a world that is increasingly unconnected – at least in the traditional sense?
Online spiritual connections
For some, online video chatting platforms such as Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime provide the opportunity for families or members of congregations to connect virtually – everything from weekly services to religious school classes, to special days of religious significance such as Easter, Passover and Vaisakhi.
Sections of prayer books or spiritual readings can be sent to participants through email or posted online so the group can collectively participate. Many houses of worship now have times for online services posted on their websites.
Through creativity, creating a sense of community
Others feel connecting through food truly makes the holiday. Family and friends can develop a menu of special recipes they wish to virtually cook together, in real time, while enjoying each other’s company and culinary best practices. And given the additional time and recent focus on domestic projects, there is real opportunity to learn how to master special foods that once seemed too challenging for the typical home chef.
For a different take on practicing physical distancing yet staying spiritually connected, locally owned Becky’s Drive-In is serving as a unique location for area church services. Congregants remain in their vehicles while tuning in to listen to the day’s sermon.
Even birthdays and anniversaries have called for creative workarounds. Car parades have been executed, as have elaborate at-home meals and virtual music tributes to acknowledge these life milestones.
How do you plan to make your upcoming holidays and celebrations special, or how have you already celebrated a family event while minding social distancing directives? Share on social with #LVHNCOVIDStrong or submit your photos to LVHN.org/stories.