In this season of lent, in the midst of seclusion and suffering imposed by a virus, I believe God has gifted us an opportunity. An opportunity to relearn the importance of the home church.
Don't squander this time. This time of fasting from the commonness of the Eucharist. Join us, yes, in our services streamed and shared online. But also, light a candle, burn incense, and -- in front of even just one small icon -- dedicate time to prayer at home. Take hold of your royal priesthood and let your prayer life be incarnational. To help you, our diocese has published a wonderful resource for living “Holy Week From Home” (READ MORE)
This is a fasting season. Each of us, like St Zosima has been tasked with spending Great Lent apart and in the wilderness of an uncertain and arduous desert. But we will return together at that eventual Pascha. And that absence from Holy Communion, our liturgical worship, and each other will cause our hearts to grow fonder for our community.
This is a miraculous opportunity to relearn what is essential - seize it! Keep watch and pray as individuals and as families and nurture that experience. Do the typika service. Sing or read the akathist service (what joy is punctuated there). Seize this hour of prayer for yourself.
See the gift God presents in these times of trouble - we are never left alone. Learn that first hand through the cultivation of a domestic prayer life.
Beloved brothers and sisters, we must continue to find ways to be prayerful, authentic and communal. Fortify your home parish, as we collectively fortify our community online.
Finally dearest brothers and sisters, it is now more than ever vital that we become the eucharistic presence in our world. Christianity does not just stop no matter the calamity. What we have received in our hearts and our being since the moment of our baptism, Christ Himself - He through our hands, sweat, and even blood must be distributed creatively to the many for the life of the world. Take care of those around you - and continue to move away from yourself until you are in the service of those who live solely by the grace of God.
I hope and pray that each of you are well physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I love you all. And know that when I am serving in our now empty church, I carry each and every one of you before the altar.