At the recent Eucharistic Congress we had a stand to promote Sonas spirituality resources. The interest shown by callers to the stand has spurred me on to write about it for the RSC eNewsletter.
Visitors to the stand were interested to know what were our two programmes, Ciúnas and Serenity, about. To that I answered “Ministry to the housebound or older people in Care Homes”. For this purpose we have CDs and a DVD which are suitable for older people brought up in the Irish Catholic tradition. Ciúnas is an Irish word meaning quietness, so I interpret this as being still in order to get to know God better. The vehicle used in this instance consists of hymns and prayers that older people grew up with.
The DVD shows scenery around Ireland including places of natural beauty, holy sites and churches. It is accompanied by some of the soundtrack of the CDs which plays the hymns and prayers as the scenes change. This type of material offers comfort to many older people who love the familiarity of what they see and hear and in many cases have the capacity to join in with both the hymns and the familiar prayers. It is especially helpful to those who, because of failing memories or difficulties communicating, find it increasingly hard to pray independently. A booklet entitled ‘Making the Most of Ciúnas’ which includes the words of the hymns and prayers is also available and is helpful to facilitators who want to use the materials with older people in their care.
Whereas Ciúnas is particularly suitable for older Irish people, it could be equally useful for older Irish emigrants in the UK, Australia, America or elsewhere.
The second programme is called the Serenity Spirituality Sessions. This consists of a box set of CDs, a How-to DVD, a CD ROM and a booklet explaining the content of the programme. It is designed to suit Christians of any denomination, and each session, led by a facilitator, lasts between 35 and 45 minutes. A small group of about eight older people is the ideal size of a Serenity group. It aims to help the participants to grow in their relationship with God, self, others and nature and is …
- A gathering to pray and include reference to gratitude and reconciliation
- Use of Scripture – epistles and psalms as well as Gospel
- Hymns familiar to various Christian denominations
- A section on nature and creation
- Intercessory prayer/prayer intentions
Mary Threadgold RSC