Since some of our churches have resumed in-person church services and some have not, what if we purposefully and intentionally transformed small spaces in our homes into special places of worship, prayer, and reflection? Resolve in this new year to create a sacred space for your family or yourself. A holy space to stop and focus and listen for that still, small voice of God.
Creating a small space in your own home where you can worship and connect with God can be spiritually restorative. In creating your own sacred space, there is no right or wrong way, there is no secret recipe. All you need is your imagination, some items that have meaning to you, and the presence of God.
Choose Your Location.
In deciding on the location for your sacred space, keep in mind your intention. Will you use this space daily or weekly? Do you have room on your coffee table or a breakfast nook in the kitchen? Would a small corner of a shelf or table in the living room or den work? Do you already have a place in your home where you feel comfortable, relaxed, at peace?
The beauty of creating your sacred space is that it is a completely inspirational process with no rules or restrictions. The space is your vision, so enjoy making it personal.
Choose Meaningful Items.
Include items that evoke feelings of calm and of peace, and items that remind you of God, Son, and Spirit. Try to involve your senses. Here are some suggestions:
- A cross, big or small
- A candle to remind you Jesus is the light of the world
- A plant, flowers, a rock, or seashell – something from nature to remind you God is the Creator
- Incense or essential oils to create a sensory experience with smell
- Fabric to create an altar space to reflect the various seasons of the year
- Pictures of family or friends, some type of heirloom or memento
Using the Space.
Once you have created your sacred space, consider how you will approach the space when you use it:
Just as you would enter the sanctuary, enter your sacred space with a mindset of worship and prayer, and a desire to remove all distractions and concerns from your mind. Be intentional about not having your phone with you or near you.
Begin and end your time with prayer. Start your time by lighting a candle, taking a deep breath, saying a prayer, and reading Scripture.
If you enjoy reflecting through writing or drawing, you could add a journal, notepaper, writing utensils, and some of your artwork to your sacred space.
If you are musical, you may want to include a hymnal or speaker to play special hymns or worship music that speaks to you.
If you are unable to designate a space on a permanent or semi-permanent basis, consider placing the items in a basket or box where they can be housed in between your worship times.
Include the family.
If your space is to be shared with members of your family, include them in the planning. Have them contribute special objects to the sacred space. What would make your space feel sacred to your family? Have children’s Bibles in addition to your own Bible. Consider having a large blanket the entire family could sit on during worship.
Say family prayers, read Bible stories, make time to journal, draw, reflect, and just quietly pray and listen. Remind everyone how often Jesus went away by himself to pray and be quiet. Our church prepared Family Sacred Spaces at Home Kits which included mystery objects for each week. The children unwrapped one each Sunday. They were encouraged to hold it gently, learn its meaning, read Scripture, a closing praying, and then add the item to the sacred space. Some of the items included were a cross, candle, a communion cup, a seashell, a leaf, etc. Look for small symbolic things that could be used to represent an expression of nearness to God.
A Blessing for Your Home.
Take the time to dedicate your sacred space for the purpose it will be used. Here is a blessing you might use on your own or with your family:
God, we know this is holy space.
May your Spirit fill this home with your holy mystery.
May this home be a place of sacred connection to you, Lord.
May you continue to find your worship meaningful, and may you find holy space where God may enter in and fill you with love and grace.
Amy Jo Alspaugh
Director of Children’s Ministries
Myers Park UMC