Daily Morning and Night Prayer, or compline, are attracting online congregations of more than 200 people at a time at St Mary’s Church in Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex, since the first lockdown in England. Before the pandemic, Morning and Night Prayer were said by clergy in the parish usually without a congregation.
During the services, broadcast on Facebook Live, the ancient offices of Morning Prayer and Compline are read and traditional prayers like the Benedictus and the Nunc Dimittis are used. The online congregations are encouraged to make prayer requests and even send through suggestions for their favourite hymns. There are also prayers for key workers including those in the health service and prayers for those who have lost their lives to Covid.
Parish priest Father Andrew Downes said large number of people tuning into the services – from across the country and also overseas – are shielding. The services also give people the chance to join worship with their relatives and friends across the country during the lockdown.
A Middlesex church has seen hundreds attending its online services of Morning and Night Prayer.
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