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Worship in the Beauty of Holiness

Worship in the Beauty of Holiness
“Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness; come let us adore Him.”

Morning Prayer service, Book of Common Prayer

Christ Church is back at the high altar. We have a young and excellent crucifer; the organ rings out; choir is vested and singing - well, last week, a quartet. We can rejoice, though we still maintain pandemic precautions of masking and distancing, and the responses spoken from the scattered congregation are muted.

Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness.

Christ Church worshipped each day of Holy Week in 2020 via Zoom from our homes since the sanctuary was off limits for us with a new pandemic. Still we said our “hosannas” on Palm Sunday, and, though the Bishop scolded me for this later, we had palm crosses and prayers in plastic bags available for any and all on our railing. Each day of Holy Week we prayed together, had Tenebrae, Stations of the Cross, Good Friday and Holy Saturday liturgies. Easter Day brought a crowd from around the country on Zoom to say “Alleluia” and to hear beautiful cello music.

Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness.

The steep technological learning curve and creativity demanded by a pandemic to meet my deep desire to offer worship and connection in the face of obstacles changed me. I am trusting this has been a process of drawing closer to the heart of Jesus from within myself. The outward rituals of the Episcopal Church I treasure and hope to continue, but true worship happens purely in relationship to God and to others.

Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness.

I long for the return of thurifers, acolytes, crucifers, and a full choir processing in. I wait for ushers, cries from young children and a rousing “AMEN” at the conclusion of the Great Thanksgiving. If Lettie Trevarthan taught you how to be a Eucharistic Minister, you know the importance of a resounding AMEN (note the all caps in the BCP).

Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness.

For each one hesitant to come in person now, be true to your needs for health and safety. We still are in a pandemic. Please watch our worship on YouTube. Please pray for our congregation, for staff and worship leaders, for clergy and especially your Rector. This is a long road. I hold you all in prayer each day.

May we all grow and heal in the months ahead, finding solace, strength, pardon and renewal in our life together in God.

With every blessing,

Mother Elizabeth

From Eucharistic Prayer C:

Open our eyes to see your hand at work in the world about us. Deliver us from the presumption of coming to this table for solace only and not for strength, for pardon only and not for renewal.
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