“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship… They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” (Acts 2:42 – 46)
Just like the early believers, we have embraced our home church with grace and creativity as our church buildings are closed and we are worshiping via live-stream Masses, prayer services and days of reflection.
A popular meme shows the devil proudly declaring to God, “With COVID-19, I closed your churches!” Then, God answers, “On the contrary, I just opened one in every home!”
And to this, I say Alleluia!
The fact that we have opened a church in every home is a blessing amidst a time of great tragedy and challenge. In the early church, the believers met in their homes and many were not able to go worship in the temple as they had done so. Their homes became their sanctuaries, much as ours have become.
I do not know about you, but this Holy Week was one of the most prayerful ones I recall in many years. The connection with my sisters in preparing for the services was pure grace. From the cutting and arranging flowers, placing the consecrated hosts on the gold paten and crisp linen corporal on our coffee table, to setting up the live-stream link on our television – it was an experience of community collaboration.
For us, daily Eucharist and Mass is a way of life, as is written in our Constitutions:
“We participate in the sacramental life of the Church.
In the Eucharist we gather at the Lord’s table,
celebrating in this most sacred mystery the redeeming love of Christ.
In this communion we include in our embrace
those entrusted to our care so that all may gather at this
banquet of love and the banquet of life.
We find sustenance in Word and Sacrament.” 
As many of us continue to gather at our coffee and dining room tables, desks or wherever we participate in worship these days, how are we praying? Do you consciously create a place of prayer for your times of worship?
You may wish to put a tablecloth or placemat in front of your monitor, upon which you place a candle, a crucifix, an icon or other symbol and your scriptures or worship aide. Take a few moments before Mass begins to recollect yourself. Become present in body, mind and spirit for the great mystery that is about to take place.
Then, after Mass is over, take a few moments to pray in thanksgiving for this time of prayer and worship. If you are with others (physically or virtually), take some time to share your faith. This can take whatever form is most comfortable for you. Sharing a word, thought or phrase from the scripture, or the homily or whatever touched your spirit. This is a way we can continue to create community and build up the Body of Christ – of which we are all members.
One of the precious memories I have of this time of quarantine is that of sharing faith with my sisters in community. I believe it has brought us closer together and God has spoken to us through each other. Thank God for community!
God continues to call men and women to religious life. Is God calling you to something more? If so, contact us to begin the conversation.
* Constitutions of the Dominican Sisters of Peace.