Morning Prayer Service – 03.22.2020
“So, church is cancelled, right?” No! It would be a mistake to think, just because Ascension is not gathering for public worship this Sunday, that church is cancelled. The Church is the body of Christ, that is, the people, not the building. Whether we gather to worship or scatter to serve, we are given to love and serve the Lord everyday.
Presently, we are more scattered than we imagined. This week, Deacon Honey Becker, our Parish Nurse, Carllene Macmillan and the Transitions Ministry have been calling our parishioners most at risk for the coronavirus to ensure they are well and see if they have any needs we can address. Your staff have been doing some deep cleaning of your facilities. Our school has begun online classes. Far from cancelled, Ascension is active in its ministries whilst keeping the health of our parish a top priority.
With the challenges we face, it is important for us to still gather and pray as families or very (very) small groups in our homes, as the first Christian did. Unlike passively watching a service on the TV or YouTube, this is an active exercise. One does not lose weight watching sports; we must participate for any benefit. Christian worship is an active relationship of a living people with the living God, not a spectator sport.
Provided for you is a complete service of Morning Prayer with a brief meditation on the scriptures for this Sunday. It is intended to be read and prayed aloud, and in doing so, it is shared act among God’s People. For those with children or grandchildren who attend our parish school, they will find the service remarkably similar to their daily morning chapel. Asking them to lead or participate would involve the whole family.
This Sunday, set aside a designated time and place indoors or outdoors. Reduce any distractions. Turn off the TV. Silence the phones. Put down the coffee, newspaper or iPad. It is important to put aside the never-ending stream of daily information to focus on attention on the Eternal gifts of Faith, Hope and Love. Pause to consider the God in our midst, at every moment and especially in this moment. Above all, pray.
With prayers for a blessed Lent,