Self-Isolated but Spiritually Connected!
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives in countless ways. Yet with the lockdown, self-isolation, and social distancing, there are still really good ways for people to stay connected with each other, the wider world, and with God. St Mary’s is committed to keeping those connections open.
Although our church buildings are closed for a season, the Church is not defined or contained within buildings. The Church is actually the whole people of God – people who are staying in their homes during the virus outbreak, people who are working the front lines of hospitals, and people who are maintaining the supply of necessities at supermarkets and through delivery services.
St Mary’s is ensuring that people remain connected to one another, help one another, and pray for one another. Below are some ways that make this happen:
Daily Mass at St Mary’s
Mass is celebrated daily (without a congregation) from Sunday to Friday, at 9.30 a.m. in the Holy Family Chapel. As the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life, all are called to join their prayers with this daily offering to God. The Mass offers an opportunity to join our prayer intentions with the Divine Prayer of the Eucharist. To have your prayer intentions said at the Mass, send them to email@example.com. To follow along with the daily Mass readings, check out the Universalis webpage.
Live-Streaming Daily Mass
Since the public closure of churches, the live-streaming of Mass has become a significant way for people to follow the Mass and to have spiritual communion with the Mass. Pope Francis has offered the following prayer for spiritual communion: My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart … I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
The following sources offer live-streamed daily Masses:
St Mary the Virgin, Kenton (Church of England)
All Saints, Margaret Street (Church of England)
Daily Mass by Pope Francis (Roman Catholic)
Daily Mass from the Chapel of Bishop Robert Barron (Roman Catholic)
Live-Streaming the Rosary
The prayer of the Rosary connects us with the world around, as we pray for those in the world, and with the heavenly world, particularly with Mary, the Queen of Heaven. For centuries, Christians have prayed the Rosary in community as well as on their own. The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham has recently begun live-streaming the Rosary, each day prayed as Shrine Prayers at 6.00 p.m., so that wherever people are, they can join in. Visit the Shrine’s Facebook page to pray with the Shrine.
Praying Each Day
Christians around the world each day pray the same prayers of what is called variably the Daily Office, or the Divine Office, or the Liturgy of the Hours. As people around the globe pray these ‘offices’ or prayers throughout different times of the day, the Church as the whole body of Christians prays without ceasing. One may wish to pray Morning Prayer, or Evening Prayer, or both. There are also others offices for other times of the day. Find the Daily Office online at the Universalis website, which can also be downloaded as an app.
A Prayer to Start the Day
The Morning Offering is a prayer said every morning by Christians through the UK and across the world. Join with millions of voices by praying:
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass through the world, for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month. Amen.
Staying Connected and Up-to-Date
As circumstances all around change rapidly, the best way to keep up-to-date with what is on offer at St Mary’s is by joining the Parish E-Updates. More will be on offer soon, including live-streaming virtual book groups, Bible studies, and Gospel reflections. To sign-up for the updates, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and enter ‘subscribe’ in the subject line and your name. Also, fellowship groups through St Mary’s exist on WhatsApp. To enquire about joining, write to email@example.com.
Helping those in Need
Many in South Ruislip are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 outbreak. To help keep the elderly and frail stocked up on food and medicine, or to offer opportunities to chat over the telephone, St Mary’s has volunteers to provide basic services to those in need. To become a volunteer, or to request help from volunteers, please call St Mary’s at 020 8842 3783, or email the church at firstname.lastname@example.org.