I’m sure by now most of us have heard the announcement from the Bishop’s Conference regarding suspending public celebrations of Mass. I have provided a link to the announcement below:
Whilst this is deeply sad news for so many of us who value gathering for the celebration of the Eucharist, there are still opportunities for us to gather in prayer and be in communion. Whilst not the ideal situation, so many parishes already live stream Mass on the internet, or are due to begin doing so this weekend. Below is a list of parishes I know are definitely going to be doing so, which include parishes in our own Diocese, further afield in the UK, Ireland and around the world. There is also a website I’ve included which has a list up for every day of available live streams from Catholic churches with their times of Mass so that no one should miss out on gathering around the Lord’s table in spirit.
This site has a list of Masses all around the world due to stream Mass on that particular day:
St Joseph’s RC Church Portishead, Fr Tom Dubois
https://www.josephfrancis.org/livestream 12 Noon daily
St Margaret of Cortona & All Saints, Canning Town, Fr Andrew Forys
Our Lady of Walsingham, Royal Docks, Fr James Mackay
St Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow
St Lawrence Church, Sidcup, London, Fr John Diver
Clifton Cathedral, Bristol (Stream is due – keep an eye on the Diocesan website)
Whilst our belief as Catholics is that the Eucharist is the ‘source and summit of the Christian Life’ (CCC 1324), and the celebration of the Eucharist will continue to be celebrated for us. St Ambrose says “The altar represents the body of Christ and the body of Christ is on the altar”, yet we also know from St Paul’s teaching that “The Church is the body of Christ, and each one of us is a part of it.” (1 Cor 12:27). Christ lives in us as Christians, Christ speaks through us, strengthens us and we can believe in being a part of the Church and expressing so in prayer and worship, wherever and however we are able to.
Let us still practice private prayer, praying for others and ourselves but on Sundays, if you are able to gather with those in your house, or connect over apps, you can listen to the readings for the day. They are always available on this website – http://universalis.com/. Don’t be afraid to be silent together, to ask questions and discuss the scriptures, to explore how they can guide us though the coming days. We are very used to public acts of worship, however, God continues to hear us in our private prayer and small groups worshipping ‘Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them’. (Matthew 18:20).
Finally, let us take comfort in knowing that the foundations of our Church, the very root of our faith was built on homes. It was in homes where the Christian faith blossomed, in the homes of believers where people first gathered to share the words and example of Jesus Christ ‘And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.’ (Acts 5:42)