Eleventh Sunday after Trinity
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This Sunday we will be holding our first services in church since mid March. This is both a time to celebrate, and a time to reflect upon the present experience, where we have journeyed through circumstances, emotions, and challenges that we did not foresee. I’ve been attending morning prayer led by Dean Willis of Canterbury Cathedral lately, which is always set one of the gardens or spaces in the sprawling Cathedral precincts - remotely of course. And we’ve been reading through the Acts of the Apostles which Dean Willis has been discussing with his deep understanding of scripture. And what has occurred to me as we have followed the disciples and the early church in these opening chapters of Acts is that they went through a period of isolation, the coming of the Holy Spirit, the building of community and then celebration in the Temple through prayer and through teaching. In our journey we too have experienced isolation, and through this we have relied on the Holy Spirit and community. And this Sunday we will celebrate through the Eucharist. The service focuses on the Eucharist, and will be shorter than we are used to. There will be no hymn singing, and there will be no sermon. We will embrace the silence in which so many saints of the past have found communion with God. And we will worship in joy in those places that have so often welcomed back its people after times of plague, war, and other disturbances. And we will be together, even if that means keeping a good distance from each other, wearing our masks to protect each other, and being very care filled for each other.
I am counting on all of you to take social distancing requirements seriously, especially when we are outside the church when the temptation will be to come in close and have a good old chat with people you haven’t seen. Two meters, two meters, two meters. And the best way to gauge this is if you feel you are a comfortable distance to speak to someone, take one step back.
I have to
tell you that if I feel that people are not properly socially distancing then I
will not be able to officiate at future services - I will not put people in
Let’s rejoice this Sunday. If you cannot be with us, then please keep the whole congregation in your morning prayers as you worship at home.
Sunday Eucharist Service on the 23rd of August: 10.00 at All Hallows, 11.00 at St Michael and St Helens. St Lucius is undergoing building works and will not be used for services at present.
With God’s Blessings upon you all,
Revd Professor Jessica Malay
Almondbury with Farnley Tyas