Celebrating Easter under lockdown in churches across St Albans
- Credit: Archant
Easter will be a very different experience for Christians around the world this year. Without the ability to gather together to commemorate and celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus, churches are turning to digital technology to worship.
Across the St Albans district, many churches are offering a wide range of creative and dynamic ways to celebrate Easter. They range from informal live services led from church members’ homes to interactive pre-recorded experiences and live filmings of services led by solitary clergy. Below is a list of the main ones but the list is not exhaustive. Do check out other church websites to see what they are doing.
St Albans Cathedral is hosting a range reflections and online services throughout Easter weekend, including a watching event on Maunday Thursday at 8pm, Stations of the Cross at 12pm on Good Friday, an Easter Vigil on Saturday at 8pm and a live address from the Dean on Easter Sunday morning at 10am. Find them all on their YouTube channel (St Albans Cathedral) https://www.youtube.com/user/stalbanscathedral Or visit their website: www.stalbanscathedral.org The Catholic church is directing its congregation to www.churchservices.tv where they can tune in to a church in their area (or anywhere of their choosing) where the priest is filmed celebrating all the Easter services - without the congregation. The nearest churches to St Albans are Borehamwood and Potters Bar.
The Vineyard Church has an hour long Good Friday meditation posted at 10am and available for the rest of the day and on Easter Sunday at 9.30am it will host a live acoustic worship, talk and prayer time: www.thevineyardchurch.co.uk
Forest Town Church is doing something similar with “an interactive online reflection ‘Gethsemane to Golgatha’ which can be done as a family or individually at your own pace”. For Easter Sunday they are hosting a live Easter Sunday celebration at 10am. They are also posting bedtime stories for children every night to give them comfort and reassurance, read by members of the church: https://www.facebook.com/foresttownchurch/ or https://foresttownchurch.org/daily/kids/
St Paul’s Anglican church has a Reflective Service at 10.30am on Good Friday and for Easter Sunday a Traditional Easter Service at 8am and at 10.30am posted on their website at http://www.stpauls-stalbans.org/online-church/High Street Methodist church in Harpenden has got very creative by filming their own Easter story whilst in quarantine. ‘The Way of the Cross’ will be shown on their website and social media pages at 9pm on Thursday, 11am and another at 5pm on Good Friday. They also have an online Easter Sunday service (www.highstreet.church).
All of these services and reflections can be viewed at a later time than posted, enabling worshippers to join at a time that suits them.
Beyond Easter, many of these churches are posting daily devotions and offering online prayer and outreach to anyone who needs it during this difficult time. They encourage people to contact them for any support they might need.
Lastly, if you see candles lit in windows on your street on a Sunday evening, it could well be a response to the national call to weekly prayer from all denominations across the UK. They are asking their members across the nation to light a candle and place it in their window as sign of Christ’s hope at 7pm, with many holding prayer meetings via Zoom or other live video chat at the same time.