Well, not quite, but when Father Reid Hamilton of St Vincent’s Anglican Chaplaincy took to Facebook on Sunday, February 15 to livestream Morning Prayer so that his flock wouldn’t miss their weekly service, he was amazed at the response as regular worshippers, seasonal visitors now unable to travel to spend time in the Algarve, and some old friends joined the service.
“It was wonderful to be able to reunite the congregation in worship. We had felt that we should cancel services, partly as our kind hosts at the Catholic Diocese of the Algarve had cancelled theirs, but also because some of our members are frail and we didn’t want to put them at risk. But people’s spiritual and psychological needs are likely to increase at this time, as worry over illness and isolation will be quite a burden for many. So, the online service was a much-needed time of virtual fellowship.”
The set lesson for the day was from one of the letters of St Paul, where he writes of ‘despairing of life itself’ but finding consolation and hope in Christ. “It could hardly have been more appropriate,” commented Father Reid, who reminded those watching to be sure to wash their hands for 20 seconds each time, which just happens to be the time needed to pray the Lord’s Prayer, so providing a perfect opportunity to combine cleanliness with godliness.
By ALISON WEST