“Worship is a series of actions: gathering, praising, reconciling, praying,” says Katie Graber, co-director of Anabaptist Worship Network.
Music, bodily movements, lighting candles, writing prayers can be used as part of rituals for worship to help congregations to act out our responses, she says.
Here are four suggestions from the Anabaptist Worship Network to respond to the pandemic in worship.
As some congregations resume in-person congregations, many people will see each other in person for the first time in more than a year. Intentionally express the joy of this reunion. Acknowledge events that could not be celebrated together.
2. Lament hardships
Scripture offers models for speaking of difficult times and inviting God’s response.
3. Grieve losses
Beloved members of the congregation may be missing. Members may have lost their livelihood. Others are grieving opportunities and gatherings that were passed over or cancelled due to pandemic restrictions.
4. Acknowledge changes
Members continued to learn and grow: some have graduated, found new jobs, added new family members; others have moved away.
The return to collective gathering after this time of disruption offers an opportunity to evaluate, says Katie Graber. “In the last year, we have all changed the way we did things. We have developed a new normal now.”
Consider what is essential and meaningful in the rituals we maintain; what have we learned from our altered practices that we want to take back to in-person worship? What have we learned about what we value? What new practices can we introduce to in-person worship?
Watch Anabaptist Worship Network’s webinar or view more resources for worship here: