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Special to The PREVIEW
If you have never attended Sunday Night Unplugged, a monthly music and meditation service offered by St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, give yourself a special treat, a balm for the soul. This Sunday, March 9, at 5 p.m., local musician Charles Martinez will bring the hauntingly beautiful sounds of the Native American flute to enhance the periods of silence, readings and prayers.
This Sunday marks the first Sunday in the season of Lent, a period of 40 days symbolizing the 40 days Christ spent in the desert praying following his baptism. The season is marked by introspection, meditation and reflection upon our personal spiritual journeys.
Christians use this time to look within themselves to ascertain ways they have fallen short of God’s mandate to love and serve God and their neighbor, and to reaffirm their commitment to turn their lives around (or repent). It is a time of sacrifice of selfish ego in order to receive God’s grace more fully.
“I cannot think of a more beautiful way to begin this holy season than with the sounds of the Native American flute,” says Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s. “There is a rich ethereal essence in the music Charles plays. The wafting melodies of the flute call forth the spirit of God moving in nature; in the wind, through the mountains, trees, and water. His music takes me into the core of my being; a oneness with God and creation.”
Sunday Night Unplugged is open to people of all faiths free of charge. The service is marked by peaceful contemplative music, a visually beautiful altar surrounded by candles, scripture readings, a meditational reading and, perhaps most importantly, silence.
“People who attend may participate as much or as little as they choose,” says Neel. “They are invited to signify their prayers by lighting a candle if they want to do so. They may also move about if they like or assume whatever posture of prayer they wish. There are no expectations or rules. The service naturally takes on a quiet spirit of holiness and our senses are made more aware of God’s presence.”
St. Patrick’s is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. For more information about Sunday Night Unplugged or about other church services, call 731-5801 or go to www.stpatrickspagosa.org.