What we do 

Holy Communion and Coronavirus  

 

2MARY NEW 11 

   By Team Vicar,
   Revd Mary Barr 





One of the things I’m really missing badly at the moment is regular worship with you in our churches across the Melton Team Parish.  In particular, I miss sharing in the Sacrament of Holy Communion together. 

Ever since I was Confirmed when I was 13 years old, receiving regularly the Bread and Wine at the Eucharist has been central to the nourishment of my Christian faith. Whether it’s in Sunday worship or a midweek service, or sharing home Communion with someone who is housebound… each and every time we gather together to do what Jesus asked us to do in remembrance of Him, Christ is present with us. 

So it will feel particularly strange not to be able to be together as the Body of Christ - the Lord’s people - to celebrate the Resurrection this Easter Sunday; I personally can’t recall a time when I’ve been unable to receive Holy Communion on Easter Day.

However, there is a way in which we can participate in Communion with Jesus Christ ‘spiritually’ even when serious reasons, such as  the necessary restrictions placed on us during these very difficult circumstances caused by the Coronavirus, prevent us from sharing in it together.

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The Book of Common Prayer teaches that if we offer ourselves in penitence and faith, giving thanks for the salvation that Christ crucified has won for us in His victory over sin and death, then we may truly ‘eat and drink the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ’, although we cannot receive the Sacrament physically in ourselves.

The Church of which we are members is not defined by the walls of a building but by the Body of Christ in which you and I belong. Making a “Spiritual Communion” joins us with Christians everywhere - including those who are prevented all the time by extreme persecution from ‘going to church’ - as we are sustained by the One who tells us, “I am the Bread of Life” (John chapter 6  verse 35).

The Church of England provides a form of prayer that we can use to focus upon and give thanks for our Communion with Christ which is printed below.  Do join me in using it often, praying all or part of it as you are able:
 

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An act of Spiritual Communion

You may wish to find a space for prayer in front of a cross, a candle, or a special place.
You might choose to make your Spiritual Communion at a particular time of day, or after viewing a streamed online service.
Reflect on the day and on your relationships.
-  What good things have come from God today?
-  Where have I fallen short?
-  What might I do tomorrow?You may wish to say or pray:
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Read the following words from Scripture. If you have access to today’s readings for Holy Communion, you may wish to read and reflect on them.
Jesus said, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’ (John 6.35)

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Pray for the needs of the world, for your local community, and for those close to you.
Then say the Lord’s Prayer.
Our Father...
Give thanks for the saving death and resurrection of Jesus and ask Him to be with you now.
Thanks be to You, Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits You have given me,
for all the pains and insults You have borne for me.
Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally,
I ask You to come spiritually into my heart.
O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,
may I know You more clearly,
love You more dearly,
and follow You more nearly, day by day. Amen.

                                                                             after the Prayer of St Richard of Chichester

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You might then add one or more of the following prayers:

Lord Jesus Christ, You said to your disciples,
‘I am with you always’.
Be with me today, as I offer myself to You.
Hear my prayers for others and for myself,
and keep me in your care. Amen.

O God,
help me to trust You,
help me to know that You are with me,
help me to believe that nothing can separate me from Your love
revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lord, in these days of mercy,
make us quiet and prayerful;
in these days of challenge, make us stronger in You;
in these days of emptiness,
take possession of us;
in these days of waiting,
open our hearts to the mystery of Your cross.
                                                                                    Angela Ashwin
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Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we Your unworthy servants give You
most humble and hearty thanks
for all Your goodness and loving kindness.
We bless You for our creation, preservation, and
all the blessings of this life;
but above all for Your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ,
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And give us, we pray, such a sense of all Your mercies
that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful,
and that we show forth Your praise,
not only with our lips but in our lives,
by giving up ourselves to Your service,
and by walking before You in holiness and
righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with You and the Holy Spirit,
be all honour and glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Conclude with the following:

The Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evil,
and keep us in eternal life. Amen.

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