Jesus, the Incarnation of God in human flesh, reminds us that bodies matter. As embodied creatures, prayer and worship always involves our bodies, as well as our hearts and minds.
Even when we are not consciously aware of them, our bodies are always engaged in our prayer and worship: we breathe, we sit, we stand, we walk, we speak, we sing, we listen. Some people in the Episcopal Church incorporate additional gestures and postures into our regular worship practice: we kneel to confess our sins, we trace a cross on our foreheads, lips, and hearts before the proclamation of the gospel, we make the sign of the cross over our hearts when we receive a blessing, we bow before the altar. Intentionally and actively using our bodies in worship prepares us to intentionally and actively practice our faith in the world.
One of the many ways we can engage our bodies in prayer is to incorporate sign language into our worship. Incorporating ASL (American Sign Language) into our prayers may help visual and kinesthetic learners, pre-literate and pre-verbal children, and people who are hard of hearing participate more fully in the liturgy. Incorporating ASL into your prayer practice may help you experience familiar prayers in a new and deeper way.
We encourage you to explore how the use of sign language and movement, along with various prayer postures, gestures, and even dance might deepen and refresh your experience in corporate worship and private prayer.
Sing and Sign Prayers
Learn an ASL interpretation for each of three prayers which are regularly included in the Episcopal and Roman Catholic liturgies: the Our Father, the Gloria, and the Sanctus.
Sing & Sign Scripture
When we sing and sign the words of scripture, God's Word embeds itself in our hearts and our bodies in a deep and enduring way.