My Sacred Space Showcases Young People’s Sacred Moments

 In Religion & Spirituality, Research

As part of our work for The State of Religion & Young People 2023: Exploring the Sacred, we invited young people ages 13 to 25 to submit an original photo to My Sacred Space, an online photo gallery that showcases what they consider to be sacred via a photo they took and submitted. This original photograph could be of a place, an object(s), or any other element considered sacred. We received more than 100 submissions from across the United States that mirrored the breadth and depth of experiences we found in our research. Here’s a few of the submissions:

These submissions align with what young people told us about their sacred experiences for the report—for them, the sacred isn’t confined to certain spaces or places but instead exists in moments that evoke feelings of awe, connection, reverence, or appreciation. Perhaps most importantly, young people told us they want more sacred moments. Our data showed that these moments often positively impact their well-being, including how they feel about themselves and the lives they’re living. These submissions demonstrate that young people find the sacred in every corner of their experience and it enriches their lives.

Although our data showed that sacred moments can’t be manufactured for young people, adults who want to help young people recognize these moments for themselves can instead focus on cultivating what we call a Sacred Sensibility.

Sacred Sensibility is a broader posture that enables young people to see something as sacred, appreciate its value as such, and respond to the sacred with openness to exploring its meaning and significance in one’s life.

Read more on sacred sensibility here and in the full report.

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