creating and observing sacred spaces; image of cross on meadow

With many events looking quite different this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the value of sacred space is more apparent than ever.

As I’ve been thinking about the value of creating and observing sacred spaces, I’ve been reflecting on some I’ve experienced.

A longtime favorite Memorial Day event for my family, the BOLDERBoulder 10K is something I look forward to each year. This year my husband and I participated virtually. This gave me an opportunity to reflect on the value of sacred spaces.

Celebrating and remembering those lost

Creating and observing sacred spaces; image of tombstones at Fort Logan National Cemetery

One of the components of the BOLDERBoulder that I like best is their tribute to veterans. This includes a military fly-over and ceremony. One highlight is when servicemen jump from airplanes trailing a flag that represents their military branch.

With this in mind, we set an intention to honor veterans during our virtual 10K. As a part of this, we included Fort Logan National Cemetery in our route. Walking along, we took in the rows of crosses commemorating our veterans. I pondered end-of-life sacred space and reflected on the hope I find in the promises of God.

Honoring sacred end-of-life spaces

In recalling the first time I played harp for a patient nearing their end of life, I remember the sacred space I shared along with the patient, family, and spiritual care director.

Just days later, the family of this same individual asked me to play for their loved one as they removed all life support. I played before, during, and after one of their most intimate moments.

From the first moment, the harp vibrations were felt in the room, hope infused the atmosphere. Calmness melted away anxiety, acceptance overcame worry, and love pushed out fear.

Afterward, the spiritual care director noted that the music created a greater sense of peace than any words he could have spoken. It was a sacred moment and space to be with this family as they said goodbye and let go.

Sacred space for important life events

From births to weddings to end-of-life celebrations, music aids us in creating and observing sacred spaces for our most meaningful moments. The name of my new brand, Sacred Space, speaks to my mission — to help others experience sacred space at important life events.

Barbara Weiger Lepke-Sims of Sacred Space is a harpist, educator, live therapeutic musician, and consultant. A thought leader in the live therapeutic music community, Barb is a mentor and advocate for the healing power of music. She is based in Denver, Colorado.