It’s a Sunday morning, a few minutes before 11.00 o’clock when I sit down at my PC and log in. I quickly pull up ‘Holy Trinity Church, Dunfermline’ on Facebook, click on the ‘Video’ link and see the countdown to the start of the service.
On my mobile phone that’s by my side, I access the recent e-mail from our church administrator and download the attachment that gives the text of the Eucharist (i.e. the text of the Blue Book).
As the service starts, I type my comment ‘Good Morning’. The comment comes up on screen against my name and I can read the names and comments from other regular worshipers. But from the ‘counter’ on the screen, I know that these are only some of the people following the service at that moment. The service progresses and when we are invited to share the peace, the comments section is filled with greetings such as ‘Peace be with you, all’. With the words of the Blue Book by my side, I speak aloud the responses that I would normally give during a Eucharist in church. (In truth, I’m sure that most of us can give these responses even without printed words as we have recited these responses so often over the years.) At the appropriate point, as the Rector partakes of the bread and wine, I join with other worshipers in spiritual communion. Towards the end of the service there is a flurry of appreciative comments thanking the Rector and acknowledging how uplifting the service had been.
As the timing of Holy Week services normally clashes with our family evening meal, I attend only one or two. But this year, as all services were online, (they are uploaded to this website but also our YouTube Channel) I simply needed to carve out a 20-minute period for the service, then join the other household members for our meal. Success! And because a variety of forms of service were used during that week, I could follow the practice I described above, that of accessing the most recent e-mail from our church administrator and downloading the attachment that gave the text for that day’s service.
I’ve never attended a Good Friday Happening at Holy Trinity. So I’d no idea what to expect when, the Sunday before, Young Church families were asked to create a Good Friday/Easter tableau, video it and send that in. What a treat I had when I saw how this brief had been interpreted by the various church members, adults and children, and how these various tableaux had been woven together within this service.
I’ve very much enjoyed taking part in online worship. Because I access most church services ‘live’, and can both read and contribute to the online comments, I very much feel part of this online community. Let’s remember that WE are the church; not the stone building in town.
(Our community can also chat up more socially through our Blether page)
Isabelle Pottinger, April 2020