St Francis is the patron saint of animals so many churches offer animal blessing services, usually held on or around October 4th. At my church, St Peter’s Episcopal this morning we had morning prayers and a blessing of the animals rolled into one service. It is always fun to have our four-legged friends join us. All we had this morning was dogs and cats but, in the past, we have had farm animals, snakes, and spiders. All things great and small have been blessed at this service.
This Easter morning was a different one. Instead of gathering at church for worship it was watching via YouTube. Many churches have celebrated in a similar way. For me it was good to have a shared experience with other believers who are doing the same. For many this is a time of life defeating death. Thanks to technology this is possible and it seems to have more meaning in this time of pandemic. My priest and the staff at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Chattanooga, TN have done great work in this new normal we are going through.
This past Sunday my priest delivered morning prayers on Facebook live in the place of our normal worship service which was canceled due to the Coronavirus. Many houses of worship are doing the same.
My religious study group Education for Ministry, did the same thing Monday. Via the web meeting service Zoom, we gathered together from 8 different places online to keep going. It truly is amazing how technology is bringing people together.
Fellowship is about gathering together and it was great to be able to do this to have a meaningful discussion about how we have been spiritually impacted by Coronavirus and to share how this is changing our worship experience. We also discussed our assigned readings on the book of Hebrews from The Bible.
I think this system of electronic gatherings is what will keep us together during these uncertain times. We have some members of the group who don’t need to be getting out and about. Gathering together in person is what we prefer but this is a great system to be sure we are checking in with one another and keeping safe.
Social distancing is something that is smart in the crisis of Coronavirus/Covid-19. This morning my church decided not to gather in person but offered morning prayer online via YouTube as a way to keep our community connected during this season of Lent. Many houses of worship do this on a regular basis but for my church, this was something new and different. Typically we have music and communion that goes along with our mass but it was OK to forego those elements for a time.
Hopefully, we will be back together sometime during Holy Week and other things will return to normal as possible.
Ash Wednesday derives its name from the placing of repentance ashes on the foreheads of participants. Today also begins the season of Lent where observants give up something or take something on.
Monday, January 6th is Epiphany which is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ. It is when the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child takes place, and thus Jesus’ physical manifestation to the Gentiles.
Christmas Eve at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. A beautiful sanctuary ready for Christ The Lord.
The Fourth Sunday Of Advent at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Christmas is close. Peace of The Lord be with you.