I am sure we are all aware of the news coverage during the last few weeks of the COVID-19 (Corona) virus, as it has spread across the world.
We need to remember the situation in our prayers, and to that end, I have prepared a prayer which might be used in our personal devotions and during times of collective worship. Please see the prayer below.
During the H1N1 flu outbreak of 2009, a Bishop’s Directive (3.4), Administration of Holy Communion, was issued and has remained in place since then.
As I understand it at present, there is no need to revise that material. Should we be advised of changes being necessary, further information will be made available.
I want to re-iterate that by receiving Holy Communion in one kind means that we have made Communion and that option is available to us all should we feel it necessary (notwithstanding Article XXX of the Articles of Religion, pp 710 Book of Common Prayer).
Bishop’s Directive 3.4 does not give direction on the Passing of the Peace. My best advice is that as some are concerned, it should be passed verbally. There may be those who wish to give and receive in the traditional manner. That can be done with the agreement of both parties.
At Synod Office, we are carefully monitoring the advice coming from both the federal and provincial governments about this issue. Should it become evident that changes to Bishop’s Directive 3.4 are necessary, further notice will be given.
At such times as this, we all react in different ways to the prospect of a virus like COVID-19 affecting us, our families and friends. None of these can be seen as “right” or “wrong.” They are what they are.
As your bishop, I ask that you, along with me, keep this matter in prayer. Additionally, should you show symptoms or if you have existing conditions that make you vulnerable, please follow the advice given by government agencies.
In our communities, cities, towns and villages we have a duty of care. Currently (Tuesday, March 10th), there have been no reports of infection in our province, but that could easily change. Please be aware of others who may be infected and offer them assistance as you are able, and in ways that are safe.
Please pray for me as I pray for you.
Gracious God thank you that you are over all, in all and through all. We lift our world before you as we face the advent of the COVID-19 virus. We pray for those who are suffering its effects, the medical personnel who are caring for them and those who are seeking a vaccine or cure. We are grateful for the lives of people who have died and pray for their families and friends in their bereavement. We ask that you enable us to know your love for all and give us your peace which passes all understanding.
In the name of Christ. Amen.