Making Sabbath Space through Sound

Some two and a half months into bringing church into our homes through the telephone wire or internet box we’ll be exploring what we do to create sacred space, sabbath, outside of those connections.

I started thinking this week – what do I already do and have to create sacred space in my home. I could write about how sacred space comes in through singing a hymn to myself or listening to a playlist. Sabbath space is slightly different though. It’s the act of setting aside time and space for worship, rest and connection.

So I’m going back to basics this month. In my voice studio – when I have a new student there are two exercises I do with them. Both exercises help set aside time and space for lifting up what is worthy in the voice (worship), (rest)ing our everyday speaking voice, and connecting with our voices.

The first involves breath work. “Can you measure your inhale? Can you count your exhale?” I ask them.

The next exercise is to make sound. It’s that simple and it’s that hard. I ask them to gather their sound up with a long inhale and then let that sound go – to let sound bubble up from the deepest part of themselves and slide to the highest and find it’s way back to the middle.

This siren, this wail, this utterance when done with abandon is a sound of compassion. This action requires you to notice your own air, feel when it’s moving and responding with sound. It’s a sound many of my newer students feel unsure or embarrassed about. There has been a long time since they have called their voices to be that free.

Many of us, as we’re exploring this new sabbath practice might feel unsure, or embarrassed or that we’re not doing it right. But the only way to start is to start. Set aside time and space with using sound. I will be using a holy wail to mark that time.

What sacred space do you already create in your home?

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