Religious futures

Posted in Features


‘Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; 
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.’
Psalm 141:2

‘Aimed at the peripheral frontiers of the digital world where the young people dwell, the Click To Pray eRosary serves as a technology-based teaching tool to help young people pray the Rosary for peace and to contemplate the Gospel. The project brings together the best of the Church’s spiritual tradition and the latest advances of the technological world.’ Vatican News, 15 October 2019

This is an experimental device, a tool for learning how to pray.
The era of invention began and the machine came into being,
a wearable technology bracelet featuring a crucifix interface
with built-in camera, infra-red sensors, microphones,
incomprehensible incantations for deep coma worship.

Electronic rosary machines connect with smartphone apps
for guided prayer and hypnotic communication rituals.
The gadget aims to help the young achieve world peace
and contemplate, practice and propagate the gospel.
The equipment also awards Prayer Bonuses when used.

For eons, people have reached out to the Almighty
but now you don’t have to have his e-mail address
or understand the relationship between structure
and culture or bother with religious demography
and survey results. The future is here right now.

Will our gods die out altogether? Human lives
are cheaper than machines in almost every country
of the world, but everybody still needs systems
and methods for enhancing prayer. We must look
to the past, to founding myths, old religions

and ancestral lines. Our jokes may be bad
but hopefully our content is more informative
than alternative scenarios and final conclusions.
This experimental device is our shared future,
now we should have everything we need.

The music of the prayer machine is constantly purring
through my body. For the most accurate intercessions
it should be kept flat and at a proper distance from
electromagnetic fields, fervour, interfaith communities
and cultural despair. Welcome to the temple of tomorrow.

The essential nature of prayer is a layering of sound
upon sound, controlled by an alchemy very similar to that
which generates worship music. Users can control piety,
dynamism, plurality and multivocality but please note that
salvation is not included in the price of your purchase.

Rupert M Loydell

Rupert Loydell is Senior Lecturer in the School of Writing and Journalism at Falmouth University, a writer, editor and abstract artist. He has many books of poetry in print, including A Confusion of Marys, with Sarah Cave (Shearsman Books, 2020). Read a conversation between Rupert Loydell and Sarah Cave, Angels, aliens, and annunciations.

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