I do hope you; your loved ones; families and friends are all keeping well at this time?
During this uncertain time as we are threatened by the Coronavirus as St Cyprian’s we are following National Church guidelines and employing common sense. Until further notice there will be no services at the church. We are streaming services using the Zoom app. The church will not be opened at any time until the restrictions are lifted. If you have any questions or anything we might help you with please call me on 07495 726006 or email me on email@example.com
It is certainly a very different run up to Easter than we had anticipated when we began Lent. For some of us this will be a sad turn of events, for some very frustrating and yet again for some a time of challenge.
At the church we have been very strict about closing the building. Some have felt uncomfortable about this decision, but I feel it is very definitely the responsible thing to do.
Fr Simon (in particular) and I have tried to be very inventive about how we offer worship. The Zoom site has been extraordinary, attendance has exceeded expectation, with great participation and sharing. We have certainly made new friends and that’s a great experience. Thank you for popping up on your computer screens. It has been good to have a couple of pets join us as well!
We are really working hard to make Holy Week and Easter as ‘normal’ as possible and herewith are the Zoomed services, please make a note of them as you will need the link to login. (Don’t forget you need to download the app first Zoom.us.com). Orders of service will be sent prior to the service to enable you join together as seek to encounter the living Christ in Word and Spiritual Communion.
We had always agreed that Fr Simon would lead our Holy Week services, we are hopeful that some of our choir will enhance our time together.
As we have had to close the church we are partaking of Spiritual Communion and several people have asked about ‘Spiritual Communion’; how best to understand this concept?
As Anglicans our understanding of the Mass, the Holy Eucharist, is centred in a community, physically gathered in prayer. The actions of a priest in consecrating the elements of communion cannot be transmitted out virtually to bread and wine in the home because of the physicality and presence necessary to a sacrament.
Just as our Lord didn’t save us at a distance because one of us is in a particular time and place and person, so we can’t celebrate the sacraments virtually or at a distance. However, when you cannot celebrate the sacrament physically (or ’sacramentally’) you are able to receive Christ ‘spiritually’ just as if you were receiving the Eucharist physically.
The prayer of spiritual communion which enables this spiritual reception of Christ is traditionally that of St Alphonsus, which you will find printed in the service booklet at each Mass.
Here’s what I would suggest that you do as you participate in any virtual Eucharist: that you make the responses that you would normally make in the Eucharist; and that at the administration of Communion, you pray that the presence of Christ be in you, your mind and your actions, especially as you say the prayer of spiritual communion.
We are all wanting to be together again and wanting to share the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Until that day comes, we do our best to feed on the Word, feed on prayer and feed on the ways we can be together, though we are apart knowing that Christ is with always, and especially when we meet together in worship.
Finally, my friends, please let me know if you are aware of anyone who is in need of any help, or just would like to have someone to speak with. There are several people who have offered assistance.
As a Christian Community we need to a people of hope and remember the words of St Paul, ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’ (Romans 15:13)
With every Blessing and assurance of prayers
Some words of Saint Mother Teresa: ‘When you look at a crucifix you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Eucharist you understand how much Jesus loves you now!’