It’s been a very different Holy Week and Easter Day this year! The Easter narrative is the same; we have shared in the joy of Jesus Christ’s Resurrection with equal awe and thanksgiving; we have sung hymns of praise and marvelled with gratitude at God’s power of life over death; we have enjoyed worship led by our bishops right in front of our very eyes. But we have had to do this individually and remotely within our own houses, without the opportunity to gather together in our traditional holy places or to receive the bread and wine which has been consecrated by the priest leading our worship.
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, it has been possible to share services with fellow worshippers, to gather together in virtual coffee spaces as we connect with stories about our thoughts and fears, to watch pre-recorded services on TV and to hear on the radio the Archbishop of Canterbury celebrate Easter communion at his kitchen table. Our churches have become increasingly innovative at building communication and community, and we are coming to realise that we can support each other remotely in our religious activities and spiritual formation. Even a daily newspaper had a front page headline last week encouraging us all to pray, which would have seemed almost unimaginable only a few weeks ago. The Spirit of God is moving all over the world, and not just in church buildings.
A friend shared the following notice from Rheims Cathedral, published by Jean Ballard, Archbishop of Rheims (1988 -1995):
A community of believers built this Church.
A community of believers still inhabits it today.
For many centuries, Christians from this parish have gathered around their priest to commune with Christ and keep faith with Him in their daily lives.
Thus the Church of stone becomes the Church of believers, who are happy to welcome you and offer you their friendship.
- Glory be to God
- Peace on earth
- May God bless all humankind
We are all discovering how to become a community of believers both inside and outside our church buildings. When the day comes on which we shall be permitted to return into our public places of worship, let’s allow this experience to change us and our way of being church so that we may continue to develop into a caring and loving community of believers.
Sarah Bourne – 15th April 2020 email@example.com