Information on Digital Worship for March 29, 2020


Dear Friends,

Please join us for live streamed worship this Sunday at 10 AM. We will worship according to a liturgy based on the Kenyan Rite, which is the normal order of worship for our 5:00 PM service (with a few adaptations for Lent). We will begin live streaming from the church at 9:45 AM.

We invite you to stream the service through our Facebook LIVE page. We are encouraging participation through Facebook if possible, as Facebook offers the ability for live interaction (both with us, and with each other) during the service. If you are not able to access Facebook, we will also be streaming the service live on YouTube.

Both platforms for livestream worship, as well as the bulletin, can be accessed from our homepage on www.allangelschurch.com

I’ve also received a number of requests and questions about ways to participate in the Eucharist from home. This Sunday, I will invite us into the practice of “Spiritual Communion,” using prayers adapted from The Book of Common Prayer. I discuss this in more detail below, for those who have an interest. I’m also including below a recipe to make communion bread at home. This bread will not be “consecrated” Sacrament in the traditional sense, as consecration requires physical presence (i.e. I can’t bless bread and wine through a screen). However, as Anglicans, we value embodied and material worship. You may find it a valuable devotional practice to eat and drink with us as we practice spiritual communion.

Look forward to being with you this Sunday, even while being apart.

In Christ,
Nate+

Spiritual Communion? What in the world is that….

Believe it or not, the church has faced pandemic before, and has already made a specific provision for it: Spiritual Communion. What in the world is “spiritual communion,” you may ask? Here’s the rubric that describes it from The Book of Common Prayer:

“If a person desires to receive the Sacrament, but, by reason of extreme sickness or physical disability, is unable to eat and drink the Bread and Wine, the Celebrant is to assure that person that all the benefits of Communion are received, even though the Sacrament is not received with the mouth” (BCP 457).

What this means is that if one is prevented from receiving even both physical elements of the Sacrament, one is not prevented from receiving what God offers us in Communion.

The basis for this practice is the Church’s teaching in the “doctrine of concomitance.” This teaching is that the whole Christ is present in every particle of both the bread and wine. Otherwise, it would mean that if one receives more bread or wine (or more of both, as the priest usually does) one would receive more of the Lord, which is clearly absurd (and impossible!). 

This is an important fact to keep in mind when illness of any sort (whether short or long-term) keeps us from receiving one of the elements. Regardless of whether we receive a large or small amount, in one kind or in both, or even without the elements, but only by desire—one always receives the fullness of the Sacrament.

Let me also point you toward a few other resources you may find helpful during this time.

First, this is a liturgy for Spiritual Communion compiled by Fr. John-Julian, OJN, for those who are unable to attend a celebration of the Eucharist or even to pray along with a livestream of the liturgy. I’d encourage you to use this throughout your week, and not just on Sundays. This is a time for us to increase our acts of communion, not lessen.

Second, a dear friend, Fr. Matthew Olver–who teaches liturgics at Nashotah House Theological Seminary–has compiled this list of prayers for use during a time of great sickness. You may find it a meaningful devotional resource for prayer in the midst of this crisis.

Communion Bread Recipe

First, a few disclaimers. Our prayer book is very sparse in its rubrics. That is to say, it very rarely gives explicit rules about how (or how not) to celebrate the Eucharist. Thus, the fact that it clearly and unambiguously prescribes that the “the Celebrant is to hold it, or to lay a hand upon” the bread and the wine in the “institution” of the Sacrament should be a clear sign that we are not permitted to consecrate the Eucharist at a distance.

There’s at least two important theological reasons for this. The first is to indicate “intentionality.” That is to say, we’re consecrating this bread here on the table, and not (e.g.) the bread ten feet away in the sacristy (or miles away elsewhere in the city). It is this particular bread that is “set apart.” The second is to remind us that the Eucharist is a material act between people. That is to say, in the Eucharist, people “commune” with God and each other, and we do so bodily. In this exchange, computers have no place.

Because of this, any bread or wine consumed at home during a livestream service should not, in the fullest sense, be considered Sacrament. However, this same fact–that we are embodied creatures, who practice material worship–means we also recognize that having physical aids can help focus our spiritual devotion. So, if it helps you feel closer to God and one another–by all means, eat and drink with us this Sunday.

Baking Instructions (adapted from anglicanpastor.com)
⅓ cup hot water (hot water is necessary to dissolve the honey)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon molasses
.5 tsp salt
1 cup of whole wheat flour
Preheat oven to 400F.

Preheat oven to 400F. Combine hot water, oil, honey, molasses, and salt in a large bowl. Add flour slowly, just until dough cleans the sides of the bowl (the amount of flour required to reach this step may vary). Knead dough by hand for 5-7 minutes. Dough will be quite dense, but should be smooth and pliable, not dry. If dough is sticky, add flour slowly until manageable. If dough is dry or crumbly, add water 1 teaspoon at a time and continue to knead until smooth, without any dry flour visible. It’s especially important to correct for dry dough, because dry bread does not tear well. Roll dough into a ball, and then pat into ¼ inch thick circle using a rolling pin.


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