Episode 7: Collective Remembrance and the Communion of Saints by Emma McDonald

In this episode, Emma McDonald explores her Catholic faith, the absence of in-person worship in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, and personal and scholarly approaches to understanding prayer.

“For many Christians, myself included, the Covid-19 pandemic has substantially interrupted the practice of our faith. Because of coronavirus restrictions, I have not been able to attend Mass in person since March. Though I appreciate the considerable efforts of parishes to offer virtual liturgies, tuning into Mass from my kitchen table while I eat a bowl of cereal just isn’t the same. Where are the creaky pews? The people whose names I mostly don’t know but whose faces I would see each week and whose hands I would shake during the sign of peace? The dry communion wafer that I would try to hold on my tongue as a kid to see if I could make it last through the rest of Mass? Beyond the sights and sounds of what helps a space to feel sacred, I miss the silence.”

A practicing Catholic from Baltimore, Emma McDonald is a second year doctoral student in Theological Ethics at Boston College, where she studies bioethics and social ethics, focusing specifically on reproductive ethics. She received an M.A. in Religion from Yale Divinity School in 2019, and a B.A. in Religion from Middlebury College in 2016.

Read Emma’s full essay here.

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