Doug McKelvey was recently interviewed by Convivium Magazine about the process of writing Every Moment Holy—a wonderful conversation we’re excited to share with you here.
Convivium: Every Moment Holy, published in 2017, is a “book of liturgies for the everyday.” When did you first begin to write liturgies for the ordinary, maybe even mundane, bits of life?
Douglas McKelvey: I was working on a young adult sci-fi novel and had hit a point in the process where I was struggling to get in the right place and be productive. I needed a prayer to focus and remind me of who I was in relation to my Creator, the gifts I was stewarding, and the people I was seeking to serve by what I was creating. So, I wrote a liturgy for fiction writers.
At that time, I was preparing for a session on storytelling and story creation together with Andrew Peterson and Heidi Johnston, a wonderful author and Bible teacher from Northern Ireland, and I sent Andrew that liturgy for fiction writers.
His immediate response was, “This is great, but I wish I also had a liturgy for beekeeping, and a liturgy for …” The light came on, and I realized, “There’s a whole book idea here that could potentially serve the body of Christ.” In many ways, it became a community supported effort to bring the book into print.
I consciously drew from the early Celtic Christians who had created prayers for everything. They had a prayer for milking the cow, even for covering over the ashes of the hearth fire at night. They had this awareness of moving through their days with God being present.
There’s something beautiful about how they were so intentional about cultivating this every moment sort of awareness of God’s presence with them, and his involvement in their life, even in the mundane tasks. With this project we weren’t setting out to create something new. We were looking back at something that had been beautiful and significant to the church at multiple points in our shared history, and sought to reintroduce people today to those beautiful and helpful prayers.