For years, now, I've been saying to my wife, "Eventually it'll be too dangerous to go to church or something, and we'll get to have church at home, and it'll be awesome." And, for three months, now, that's what we've been doing. And it's been just as wonderful as I dreamed it would be.
I know there are people who aren't in the same circumstances in life as me, and to many of them, this probably sucks. I'm not trying to make light of their difficulties. We all have different trials, and for some, home-based church is a trial. It's just that, for me, it's not.
Here's how our Sundays have been going. We sleep in, then get up and get dressed for church. Our youngest son is in charge of bringing some chairs from the dining room into the living room. Our daughter brings the keyboard from the family room. She picks some hymns and our youngest son writes their numbers on a whiteboard. Our oldest son gets a plate with one piece of bread, and six plastic cups, and gives each cup a small squirt of water from the refrigerator door. We have two white pillowcases, and one goes on the coffee table* and one goes over the plate and cups. We start church at noon. We check to see if the ward or stake has e-mailed us any announcements. We have our opening hymn and opening prayer. We usually have no ward or stake business to conduct (they send it in an e-mail to read, and we sustain the action by not e-mailing back an objection within 48 hours). We sing our sacrament hymn while our oldest son and I tear the bread into six pieces. Then he and I bless the sacrament and our middle son passes it. After the sacrament, we have a talk of sorts. Sometimes one of us has prepared something, or sometimes we read or listen to a conference talk that seemed like a good idea. We read a chapter of a Spencer W. Kimball book once. We watched Elder Bednar's and Sister Bingham's #HearHim videos. Or we have testimony meeting on Fast Sundays. Then we have our closing hymn and closing prayer, and we're done. It takes a half an hour.
Then we change back into our pyjamas and eat lunch. And we try to remind the kids that they can just hang their church clothes back up, since they didn't get them dirty in 30 minutes. Our youngest son has to watch a YouTube playlist of Primary songs so he doesn't forget the words, and the older kids are all in presidencies, so they usually have to watch some sort of training video about once a month.
When we go back to regular church, that "I can't believe it's over already" feeling we had for all of 2019 will be replaced by a "why is church SOOOOOOO LOOOOOOOONG?!" feeling. And what will it be like when we go back to getting a tiny piece of bread and a mostly-empty water cup? Already in the past I've passed a note to my wife that read, "Does the ordinance count if your mouth absorbs the water before you get to swallow any?" And don't even remind me about testimony meetings with crazy people! Can't we just keep church like this forever?
* = are we going to Hell for preparing the sacrament on a coffee table? Maybe we should call it the caffeine-free-soda table.
NOTE: Blogger had an update, and it no longer has spellcheck. So prepare for an increase of spelling mistakes in my posts. (And labels are sorted A to Z and then a to z, so "Zion" comes before "blog housekeeping." Lame.)