#VirtualRitual – Each weekday our friends from Penn, including Students, Staff, Faculty, Penn Religious Communities Council and other voices from campus will be sharing the ways their spiritual rituals have adapted while staying at home and as they connect to their spiritual communities remotely including intentional making daily activities into spirit building rituals, like dog-walking, cooking, baking bread etc.⠀

Today Michael S. Chen, Advisor for the Penn Student Group, Impact Movement:

Reading aloud.

During this time of quarantine, I began reading aloud to my two boys Jamison (age 10)  and Silas (age 8).  Certainly they are past the age where they “need” me to read to them, but in a time that has been chaotic and unpredictable, reading to them before bedtime and occasionally in the afternoon a chapter or two from the Chronicles of Narnia has brought magic and new conversations to our home and beyond as I share the practice and the content of our conversations with students and colleagues.  In our fast paced and digital world, we generally read very quickly–for information, more scanning than taking in rich and complex stories.  I have found that reading aloud slows me down and requires that I be mindful of my body: vocal inflection, British accent, diction, pace, and volume.  I have very faint memories of my parents ever reading aloud to me but I do hope that in this unusual time, our children will remember well what it was like to be read to, and to hear the voice (even the timbre) of a parent.  We need to read aloud to one another more!  Words were meant to be shared, and stories were meant to renew our moral imaginations.  One of my favorite parts is ending a chapter on a cliff-hanger, and hearing the boys squeal with delight and eagerness of wanting to hear more.  Try this #virtualritual today with your family, and loved ones!