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Diocese holds virtual service for Maundy Thursday

 

In our Church calendar, Maundy Thursday is the time when licensed ministers are invited to renew their commitment to ministry.

In a first ever virtual gathering of its kind in the diocese, Bishop Robert presided as 175 licensed clergy and readers from all corners of the Diocese joined together on Zoom.  Here is a screenshot of some of the participants in "gallery" mode:

 

 

You can find the Order of Service here. The service liturgy included an Old Testament reading from 1 Samuel, Psalm 133 and Revelation 1 in the New Testament.  The Gospel reading was taken from Matthew 9.

Bishop David preached the sermon.  He reflected on the current challenges of Coronavirus, and why the Church is equipped to cope with them:

“ … our way of being Church has been disturbed but I urge all of us not to be too worried. We are experiencing an unprecedented seismic shift in Church life, indeed. But let us remember the promise of our Lord about the Church, the promise to Peter in Matthew’s Gospel. Peter is the representative of the disciples, our representative, and Jesus says to him, to us “that the gates of Hades will not prevail against the Church”.

 

He added:

“We will emerge after this crisis having discovered that the Spirit has enabled other ways for the life of the Church in its fullness to continue, and it will still be the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. It is the Spirit that will guide us; it is the Spirit who guides the Church in all things; and we believe that the Spirit may even make all things new!”

Addressing the virtually assembled for their renewal of vows to conduct ministry, as Readers, Deacons, Priests and Bishops, Bishop David said:

“ … We join today from across the diocese through this miracle of technology. Bishop Robert and I are grateful for your prayerful participation in this new way of gathering in this Holy Week. We are deeply moved and we thank you for demonstrating great creativity in the ways you seek to remain close to your communities and those in your care during this emergency.

Our public liturgical life might have stopped but the spirit of common prayer and sharing faith and pastoral care has not stopped. You are renewing together with your people the ancient ways that nurture the Church, the daily office, lectio divina, family prayer, and these not only sustain us as we sojourn in this desert but will make us a stronger praying Church when we will have crossed the Jordan.”

You can read Bishop David's sermon in full here. 

You can also view a recording of the service.