Sunday 12 July 2020

Take me to the church by app

Have your tickets ready

In this new dispensation as the lockdown is being eased, the main event I look forward to is attending church on Sunday. We register on the Eventbrite app for the purposes of managing numbers and possible consequent tracking and tracing, if perchance this Coronavirus invades our space.
It is much easier to install the app on your mobile phone and process the free invitation there than to have it emailed to you and printed out for you to present it to the ushers on paper. On this visit, only my surname was asked for. I had first registered from the church’s Facebook page which offered the email route before I realised it was possible using an app. Thankfully, my first registration did not take up a needed space as the church itself did not appear as full as last week.
Silent day, of loud patter
I arrived quite early and took a seat in the socially distanced seating arrangement that is now the standard in church. Certain seats were labelled for family units to sit together, but most were individual seats with the programme for the liturgy already on the seat as opposed to it being handed out to us by the ushers as we arrived at the door.
For the 10 to 15 minutes before the service began, we were enveloped by stillness, a silence for which the only time it was interrupted was the sound of the footfalls of entrants or the odd irritable cough before the processional hymns was played over the loudspeakers for the procession of the clergy.
Traditions held up
Again, we did not rise to sing, we sat through the whole service except for when we participated in the sacrament of the holy communion, of which only the bread was offered with the words spoken only in the heart with reverence.
The Sung Eucharist which could stretch to just short of 2 hours, is over within the hour. Much as we were advised to promptly leave after the service, we lingered about to be acknowledged by the clergy and catch up with fellow worshippers. We do not expect the church to permanently take up this revised order of service, but for now, it is the best we can do for public worship.
Surreal as it may seem, the congregation is adapting well to some fine-tuning every week.

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