Yoga Stations of the Cross. No, really, at Holy Family, a Catholic parish in Pasadena, California:
Invitation to Participate in a Multisensory Christian Meditation on the
Stations of the Cross Using Yoga Positions – Sat. March 28 in Connolly Parish Hall
at 10:30 a.m.
For the sixth year in a row, Anne Kelley and Cynthia Simon will guide participants through the use of yoga positions to walk the Way of the Cross with Jesus and His disciples. This special meditation takes inspiration from 14 specially commissioned paintings and will also include spoken meditations and live choral music as a backdrop (Holy Family’s own Diana Ferris). To learn more about what we’ll do, check out the videos and images from past meditations at www.bodyinprayer.com.
So the Prytania is hosting live performances now. O Fortuna! The reader who sent this in, a former parishioner there, said:
Father Neuhaus once said a few years ago that for the American Catholic church, “the silly season is over.” I don’t think so! Check out the painting of Jesus in some sort of yoga position. I wish I could see all the paintings, alas.
But my dear, you can, right here.
Interesting to note that this parish does not have a pastor, but rather a “Parish Life Director,” as well as two ancillary “priest ministers” and a “weekend presider.”
Anyway, I’m guessing that of all the places in the world where you might find Barbara Nicolosi on the evening of March 28, the Yoga Stations of the Cross won’t be one of them.
UPDATE: I’m all for praying with the body. We do that all the time in the Orthodox Church. But yoga is a Hindu discipline, not a Christian one, and the syncretism of mixing yoga with Christian worship is troubling. By the by, here is an image from our parish’s liturgy last night. In Lent, Orthodox services often feature the Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian:
O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.
After each line, the parishioners cross themselves, the make a prostration, touching their foreheads to the ground to show maximum humility and submission to God. Here is an image of one of our parishioners doing this last night. There is nothing quite like being able to pray this way, I find. I don’t know, though, how Orthodox churches that use pews pull it off.