This was a question posed to our ministry of care worker when she mentioned to one of our seniors that she could bring her a hand knit/crocheted shawl. How sweet! On this particular visit she was relaying how chilly she feels when she sits out in the dining hall. Little did she know that we have already been getting a prayer shawl ministry in place. She'd love a shawl but just because she's in her 90's doesn't mean she's willing to sacrifice her sense of style – why should she?
In the last few months a buzz has begun to grow about knitting shawls for our seniors. They are often cold and in need of just a little something to wrap around themselves to take the chill off, even in the summer months.
I happen to love knitting shawls and as soon as I heard there was a need/desire to make some I was pleased to be involved. Several churches now have a Prayer Shawl Ministry. There is such great comfort in receiving your very own shawl that someone knit/crocheted just for you.
When I knit for someone my thoughts automatically go toward that person and I begin quietly praying for the recipient. For me my knitting time is my quiet meditative time with God. I've had some really close moments to God when I knit so it seems quite logical to me that praying/knitting go together.
A close friend of mine took up her crochet hook after a 30 year hiatus – to make shawls for the ministry. She remarked at how calming it was. She found that by crocheting before bed instead of watching TV, that she had a much more relaxed sleep.
I think the Prayer Shawl Ministry is a gift that gives equally to both. My goal is to have enough shawls made that whenever we need one there is one available. There are so many times in one's life where a shawl would be needed. I'd like to be able to offer up a shawl to a recent widow or someone who is dealing with a serious illness.
The other day I was crocheting on one of these prayer shawls and my DD who is currently quite sick with Mono asked what I was making. When she realized it was a prayer shawl she immediately wanted one. This is coming from a 17 year old girl. Even she could see how a shawl like that would make someone feel.
So this summer my needles/hook will be flying. I'm going to take a bit of a break from some 'me' knitting and help our church get a stash of shawls ready so we are always ready to hand them out to someone in need. Then in the Fall we'll gather all the shawls and at one of the Masses we will bring them forward to be blessed and then they will be personally delivered with a special prayer card letting the recipient know that the shawl has been knit just for them, prayed for while it was knit and blessed – then to continue the circle we'll ask them to say a prayer for the person who knit it for them.