LAST Sunday morning, the glorious first Sunday of Easter, I asked my congregation to bring bread and wine to their front rooms and kitchen tables. I was aware that the situation was domestic, but I want to believe in a God who meets us in our homes and places of work, as well as in our churches.
We had a short service of holy communion on Zoom, at which I and many of the 90-plus people who joined me shared together, as our Saviour taught us whenever we gather together. They intended to be fed by Christ with the sustenance that they need for their ongoing journey during their isolation, lockdown, and Covid-19 illness.
As I reflect on the service, I think that it was the least-worst way to offer holy communion. I do not think that I will need to offer it again, unless we are still locked down at Christmas. But it was a gathered community, it was seemly and reverent, and people who were there have described it as a community communion.
Maybe it was even a little more inclusive than communion in church might have been, because I was in my home and so were the congregation. We made a holy space for God into our Sunday to Saturday lives.
Our sisters and brothers in other denominations have been pondering the same big theological questions during this pandemic. I hope that the House of Bishops will spend some time considering the work of those whose area of study is of digital worship — for example, as CODEC (Centre for Digital Theology) at Durham University.
IT MAY be that I am clinging to the eucharist as Mary did to Jesus. I know that, in presiding, I have broken my promise of obedience to my bishop….
“But, as Easter approached, I began to wonder whether we could gather through Zoom and feel that familiar community connection. And I began to wonder about whether there was any way we could share holy communion together” https://t.co/eWQcuqsxsH
— Church Times (@ChurchTimes) April 15, 2020