In the latter days of the season of Lent, the novel corona virus sweeping the world reached pandemic proportions. Our government moved swiftly to respond to the crisis and as a result churches found their doors firmly shut, even at the approach of Easter. With a deep commitment to mark and celebrate the holiest time of the Christian year, Archbishop Anne approached the Cathedral asking if we could find a way to stream to the internet services for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Day. "Certainly!" was our immediate response; then we had to figure out how.
Dean Jim and Canon Stephen Mallinger had to quickly map out how services could be held, and recorded, with a maximum of five people in the building, following all the rules and constraints of physical distancing, with high quality video and audio, while preserving the spiritual integrity and dignity of our beloved Anglican worship. A lean but effective team soon emerged. Canon Stephen would be our organist, but also our sound and video recording engineer. The Dean shaped the liturgical movement and flow within the confined view of the camera. Trevor Fielder designed and installed captivating floral displays. Karen and Bob Nisbet would provide choral support and act as lectors. Michael Connell, Organist and Choir Director at Willowgrove United Church and longtime friend of the Cathedral, with the help of his son, Jayden, offered to edit and upload the recordings. It was a whirlwind effort, but in short order the work was complete. At the appointed times the Archbishop was able to offer powerful messages of comfort, hope, and resurrection truth which have now been shared literally thousands of times. As church, we have found a new way to worship together, even while we must be apart.
This work and opportunity continues. The Cathedral is committed to offering regular Sunday worship in a virtual way, until such time as we can actually be together again. A link to these services can be found on our homepage, https://www.stlukesalgoma.com/. Simply press the button to join the celebration. The link will also be posted each week in our Friday communique, Cathedral Updates, for your convenience. Even while we must stay distant, we hope you will gather with us for real worship, in a virtual way!