Being Church at Home
Here in the United Benefice of Shedfield and Wickham, the ministry team is taking up the Archbishop of Canterbury’s challenge to find new ways of sharing worship now that public church services have been put on hold for the duration of the coronavirus crisis: welcome to Being Church at Home.
Being Church at Home, Holy Week 2020
A regular, manageable pattern of daily prayer is something we all aspire to – indeed, we need to aspire to, especially in Holy Week – but with very few exceptions we rarely manage to stick to it. At the moment, we have every opportunity to make time to be quietly with God during the day. With this in mind, the Revd Ruth has created two Holy Week series for the benefice, both of which can be used online or downloaded and printed to make easy-to-use orders of service:
- Prayer During the Day is based on the Church of England’s Common Worship daily prayer services. Ruth explains, ‘Prayer During the Day follows a pattern that will be used by people throughout the world. You may wish to use this daily service on your own or with someone else at home. As we’re unable to meet in groups, perhaps you could arrange a time to pray with friends, each in your own homes.’
- Compline comes from the Latin ‘completorium’: it’s prayer at night, said at the completion of the working day, and it was originally said by monks at their bedsides in monastic dormitories. It’s probably the simplest form of daily prayer to be inherited through the generations. Ruth’s Holy Week Compline service includes a short reflection by Stephen Campion, lay minister, for us to carry with us each day as our journey to the cross progresses.
- Stations of the Cross. This year we’re unable to journey through Holy Week in each other’s company as we’ve done in previous years at services like Compline, the Maundy Thursday foot-washing and the Watch and Good Friday’s reflection at Park Place and the much-anticipated afternoon service in Shedfield. Revd Ruth had hoped to lead us through a version of the traditional Stations of the Cross service for Holy Week this year – clearly we aren’t able to do that together in church, so let’s join in, each in our own home, in this special reflection in words and pictures.
Why Good Friday? Another Holy Week FAQ! I’m often asked what’s good about Good Friday (apart from hot cross buns, of course!). And ‘good’ certainly does seem to be a strange title to give to the saddest day of the Christian year. But ‘good’ has traditionally meant ‘holy’, so Good Friday is the chance for us to remember that Jesus ‘did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’ as St Mark says (chapter 10, verse 45).
The Revd Jane Isaac shares some thoughts about Good Friday…
My vicar at home always described Good Friday as ‘God’s megaphone call to the world’ – because we ignore it at our peril! On this holiest of days we’re called to respond to God…to receive his love…to commit ourselves to him. There’s no better day than Good Friday to commit our lives to Christ.
And there’s no better day than Good Friday to pray, and when we pray there’s not necessarily any need for special theological language unless that’s what we’re comfortable with. God understands everyday words too! So whilst one person’s prayer might ask for us to be redeemed and to be justified and to be reconciled to God, someone else’s might say just the same thing but differently: ‘Lord Jesus, you went through so much for me. Come and live in my heart, and make me the person you want me to be.’
We can’t be in church this year, but Good Friday is still a day for prayer at home, on our walk, in our garden and in our heart.
There are plenty of other options available online, including a ‘Journey to the Cross’ activity sheet for children prepared by Bethan Fogell, the Diocese of Portsmouth’s Youth and Children’s Work Advisor. Go to our Messy Church page to find out about this fantastic resource, along with the link to the Diocese’s children’s webpage.
Holy Week services available via the Portsmouth diocesan website including live streaming of Bishop Christopher’s Maundy Thursday Chrism mass and sermon, Good Friday services and Easter Day communion: https://www.portsmouth.anglican.org/events/category/worship/
We’ll also have benefice Easter services with a reflection by the Revd Jane Isaac available on the parish websites on Sunday.
Closer to home, the Bishop of Portsmouth will be leading a Holy Communion service from Bishopsgrove at 8.00am (see this live at www.facebook.com/CofEPortsmouth, or later at the diocesan website, www.portsmouth.anglican.org)
Many cathedrals are live-streaming their Sunday worship: you can see Portsmouth Cathedral’s services at https://www.portsmouthcathedral.org.uk
Daily Prayer during Holy Week
Compline during Holy Week
Stations of the Cross
For Sunday 5th April
Hymn for the Day
The hymns we sang at school and Sunday School are often the hymns that stay our favourites right through our lives – All things bright and beautiful andLord of the Dance are far and away the most popular hymns at weddings and older folk enjoy The Lord’s my shepherd when we sing it in church. Hymns are far too good to save for church! They often have fantastic tunes and great words that can say in a few verses what the longest and most finely-crafted sermon never manages to say so well. And it’s good to sing, sometimes especially good when you can really give all you’ve got without worrying about anyone else listening to you or whether or not you know the words! That’s why I’m encouraging you to have a look at the Royal School of Church Music’s Hymn for the Day webpage by clicking on the button. The RSCM does fantastic work in supporting church musicians, organists and choirs, but Hymn for the Day is for everyone. There’s a backing track and the words of the day’s hymn: have a go today! Revd Jane.