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Thursday, 21 May 2020 09:53

Some changes... to our worship

Since the lockdown began we have settled into a pattern of online worship which seems to work well for us. There is one thing missing from it—the Eucharist. How can we share in communion when we are separate? The answer is, sadly, that we can't. At least not in the way that Jesus intended. A shared meal is off limits for now. 

We have spent some time over the last two weeks thinking about how we can incorporate something of the Eucharist into our worship. The Eucharist was celebrated for the first time since lockdown on Ascension Day, streamed from church, but we don't think watching a Eucharist happen somewhere else is the best way for us all to share together the presence of Jesus in our lives.  So from this Sunday onwards the culmination of our Online Sunday Worship at 9.30am will be a short time of shared prayer, where we join together in focussing on the communion bread placed on the altar in church. We'll be tuning in to the 24/7 live stream as we do this—and it should all happen smoothly on screen (fingers crossed!).

A lot of thought and reflection has gone into thinking this through. What we are doing forms part of a well-established tradition of Eucharistic devotion known as Exposition, Adoration and Benediction. Those of you who remember Holy Trinity's worship in the 1970s may recall this service happening regularly in the Reverend Sidney Smith's day.

We can't share in communion, but we can, by gazing on the bread of the sacrament in prayer, in thankful adoration receive the gift of grace that forms us into the Body of Christ.

Holy Trinity's PCC worked through this with the help of two briefing papers—a summary paper and a full briefing paper. Please do take the time to read them if you are able. They contribute to the theology behind our practice. Over the next few weeks we shall think about and try to develop what we do enhance our worship. Please do let us know what you think. 

So from the Sunday after Ascension this will be the regular pattern of Sunday worship: 

8.00am Holy Communion will be celebrated privately in Church according to the Book of Common Prayer.
This will be available for people to watch as part of our 24/7 Live Stream from the chancel, accessed from our website.
The order of service will be available online for people to follow if they wish. But this service will not be streamed on Facebook.
9.30am Online Sunday Worship.
This will continue to be streamed to Facebook as our main act of Online Worship.
Followed by Zoom Coffee.
8.00pm Compline or The Angelus.
Streamed to Facebook as Online Worship from the church.
 

The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Holy Trinity, Prestwood is a registered charity, no. 1129233.

Holy Trinity, Prestwood is an Inclusive Church. We are part of the Church of England.
We are in the Oxford diocese and the Wendover Deanery.

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