With the arrival of spring comes many treasured religious holidays. However, during this period of social distancing, practitioners of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism may feel especially isolated and separated from their spiritual communities. Many places of worship have prioritized putting services and community groups online, but there are numerous other ways to feel connected during Passover, Ramadan, and Easter in the current socially distant environment. Here’s how.
Schedule a Video Gathering with Loved Ones
Each of these holidays centers around communing with family, friends, and neighbors around a traditional meal. The Passover Seder meal is one of the focal points of this holiday, and members of the Jewish community are sure to miss large gatherings around a communal table. Plan ahead and make your own Seder, then schedule a video conference to enjoy the meal with others. Toast with Manischewitz and take turns listing out what each guest is grateful for.
Easter is ripe with egg hunts, mid-day feasts, and outdoor picnics. However, most of us will need to get creative when hosting our own Easter celebration. Host a virtual egg hunt with cousins, nieces, and nephews in which each parent hides eggs around the house or yard. Compete to see who can find the most eggs and award a local gift card to the winner. Dress up in your finest Sunday best and have a picnic in the front yard, pending good weather.
Muslims may find this social distancing especially hard during Ramadan as the practice of breaking the holy month’s fast is celebrated with a three-day feast called the Eid al-Fitr. Plan to host your own Eid al-Fitr and cook up tasty dishes. Dine with others virtually and play music, dance, or pray together in celebration of the sacred Islamic holiday.
Participate in Local Online Services
The majority of Boulder’s places of worship have switched to online services. Congregation Bonai Shalom makes it easy for practitioners of the Jewish faith to get involved online by offering a plethora of services, discussion groups, and even a Passover cooking class. Learn more here. Congregation Har Hashem hosts online meditation groups, Shabbat services, and a Torah study. Get involved, here. The Boulder Jewish Community Center also provides a host of opportunities to participate in services, activities, and classes online.
The Islamic Center of Boulder provides lectures and videos online for Muslims to explore their faith and for interested parties to learn more about this religion. The Imam has invited anyone to reach out to him and encourages all members of the community to stay engaged and connected with one another.
Regardless of your Christian denomination, Boulder’s churches provide ample ways to participate in Easter services. City Church live streams its service every Sunday at 4 pm and provides previous sermons for those who want to catch up. Boulder Valley Christian Church also offers its regular services online via Facebook live.
Don’t Skip on Celebrations
Spirituality helps us feel like we are a part of something greater and our respective religious communities are pillars of our lives. Now, we need them more than ever but are unable to spend time, worship, and pray alongside one another. Reach out and encourage members of your religious community to stay engaged and participate in the upcoming holiday. Zoom with a large group over Seder or create a text chain to support one another during Ramadan fasting. Fill Easter baskets with goodies that support local business, like gift cards to restaurants or merchandise ordered online from local shops.
Order an Easter Feast from River and Woods
Easter Brunch is a cherished tradition at River and Woods, and they are giving us a chance to bring that tradition home! Their Easter Feast for 2 is available to pre-order on their website. The meal kit includes bacon wrapped dates, Chef Daniel’s Deviled Egg kit, Challah French Toast kit, Caesar salad, hot smoked salmon, asparagus, jasmine rice and desserts! You can also choose to add a mimosa kit, if that’s your style.
Just because we are physically distant during times of religious celebration doesn’t mean we should skip them altogether. It’s easy to connect virtually with members of our respective religious communities and is sure to provide a much needed boost, both mentally and spiritually.