I hope you had the best Easter possible in the circumstances. I know some of you are following the services we are putting out online. At the bottom of this letter I have put the link to the “live” Zoom services on Sundays at 10am and the link to the You Tube service which goes live just before 10am on Sundays. I have included with this a new service sheet which we use until Pentecost, unless we are back in Church by then, please God we will be. I am aware whatever I do, only Phil and I are able to physically receive communion, and I don’t want you all to feel as if you are “just watching”. The Church has put out advice on this, how to receive spiritual communion, a bit weighty, partly because it was put into the Book of Common prayer and has never altered –
“The Book of Common Prayer instructs us that if we offer ourselves in penitence and faith, giving thanks for the redemption won by Christ crucified, we may truly ‘eat and drink the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ’, although we cannot receive the sacrament physically in ourselves. Making a Spiritual Communion is particularly fitting for those who cannot receive the sacrament at the great feasts of the Church, and it fulfils the duty of receiving Holy Communion ‘regularly, and especially at the festivals of Christmas, Easter and Whitsun or Pentecost’ (Canon B 15).
The Church of which we are members is not defined by the walls of a building but by the Body of Christ of which we are members. In making our communion spiritually, we are joining with Christians everywhere to be nourished by the one who tells us, ‘I am the Bread of Life’.
There is a prayer which can be said at the time of distribution and I have added this into the service sheet.
The Gospel reading last week was all about Thomas and his doubts. I think he got a very raw deal, because doubts are very normal, especially at a time like this. It is through questioning and seeking that we grow, and I have found this at many times in my life. Many of us are crying out “why”, and we have no answers, but to trust. God is with us now just as Jesus came and stood among his disciples after that first Easter.
I saw a joke on Facebook this week put out by Nicky Gumble, hope it may help.
The devil and God are “chatting” Devil: “ha ha, I’ve shut all your churches!” God: “Yes thanks I am in every house in the world now”
You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/feed/my_videos St Mary and St Barnabas Gillingham
Zoom Link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/79992287729 Meeting ID: 799 9228 7729
We also say morning prayer at 08.30am and night prayer at 9pm in our homes following common worship daily prayer. On Wednesdays I celebrate communion in my dining room with everyone names on the table.