Live Stream Church Update: November 21, 2020
As ordered by the Diocese of Maryland, in-church worship has been suspended as the Coronavirus Pandemic surges in Maryland, in Harford County and across the country. Christ Church Forest Hill will continue our schedule of online Live Stream Services with a few significant changes. These services may be accessed at Christ Church Forest Hill on Facebook, and at christchurchforesthill.org, our parish website.
Beginning Sunday, November 22, Christ the King Sunday, we will continue to celebrate the Eucharist on the second and fourth Sundays, but with no one in the church it will be what has historically been understood as a Spiritual Communion. Only the Celebrant will take communion, after which everyone at home will use a special Post-Communion Prayer which will be printed in the Bulletin which can be emailed to you, or downloaded from christchurchforesthill.org, our parish website.
It is important to understand that this is allowed only in times of plague or of war, as you will see the Prayer we are using is from the Armed Forces Prayer Book. Those at home are not to have bread and wine out thinking it will be consecrated by video – It will not. Nevertheless, Christians throughout the ages in such times of absence from the church have found it comforting to see and know that the Eucharist has been celebrated on a regular basis. Eucharist, by the way, means “thanksgiving,” and the Eucharistic Prayer is called The Great Thanksgiving.
The other change will be that the form of the service for the first, third and fifth Sundays will be Morning Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer. Until now Christ Church has been using the Liturgy of the Word from the Communion service, as that is familiar to most of us. I believe we will come to love Morning Prayer, as it has far more texts to be read in unison, or antiphonally, by the entire community gathered virtually. There are typically two Psalms and two Canticles (Biblical texts that can be read or sung), The Suffrages, and The General Thanksgiving, along with the Apostle’s Creed and the Lord’s Prayer, that are all said together. Another advantage to Morning Prayer is that in the absence of a priest any member of the congregation may lead the service.
We will also continue our Noonday Prayer offering online Monday through Friday, including a special edition on Thanksgiving Day. We all look forward to being able to return to the church every Sunday, but the safety of each and every one of us is first and foremost. Please be safe and follow Best Practices: wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Also, it is best for now to avoid indoor activities with groups of people until the infection and case rates return to safer numbers.
Thank you for your patience and your support as together we Stay Calm, Stay Connected and Stay Church.
Yours in Christ,
Fr Kirk Kubicek