Gokotta and Words for Prayer

Every so often a word invades my thoughts.  At times I become captivated by a new word (read: new to me).  Words from other languages are even better, especially when you cannot find an English equivalent.  Finding the word feels like unearthing a treasure.  I found one yesterday!


Gokotta is a Swedish word that means waking up early to listen to the birds sing and enjoy nature.  I love this word even if I can’t be positive of how to pronounce it.  I have come across slight variations on pronunciation.

If we want to experience the melodious songs issuing forth from the trees, we must wake up early.  To experience those calm moments before the sunrise, where darkness fails at its attempt to hold off the sun, then we must wake up early.  We must make an effort that involves a sacrifice on our part.

Gokotta will become a part of my vocabulary and way of thinking.

Words can help us to see what is important in a culture.  If it is something thought about often enough, or seems important enough, there is a word for it.

Maybe we need to invent some words.

One topic that comes up time and time again from parents is that of prayer during a busy day.  Everyone wants to know how to add a bit of silence into their lives for prayer.

What if we came up with a word that meant, waking up early to pray.

Waking a bit early to start your day with prayer is a great start to integrating prayer into the fabric of the day.  Creating a word for it would be a great start to integrating the idea into our consciousness.

What other words could we invent in this vein?

How about a word to describe that moment right after we wake up where we either inwardly or outwardly sigh.  Our getting ready for the day.  If we come up with a word for that sigh, maybe we can then work on using that sigh as a short prayer to God.

What about a word for the moment our feet touch the ground after getting out of bed?

If we become mindful of it, through having a word for it, maybe that can also become an opportunity for a quick, small, silent prayer to fit into our day.

Words do influence the way we react to the world and what we notice.

Perhaps we need to develop a vocabulary whose aim is to create opportunities for prayer.  It can make us aware of objects, moments, situations, feelings, etc.

Have any suggestions of words we need?


In addition to the regular post today there was a recent ShalomTV Episode on Holy Resurrection Monastery where I am a monk.  They did a wonderful job.

(There is a short advertisement before the episode)


Pray for me.

I’ll pray for you.

Br. Isaac

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