Keeping Lent in our hearts
As we move deeper into Lent many are finding it difficult to attend church due to the threat of Coronavirus.
In Rome and Venice there are no services on Sunday or weekdays.
Those elsewhere who are able to go will find communion only in one kind and a ban on shaking hands, kneeling and using hymn books. Coffee afterwards is often being cancelled as a precaution.
This is a time to understand how those who are unwell or far from church feel when trying to keep the Christian year.
There is a huge choice of live feeds from fixed cameras in churches across Britain on Church Services TV.
Look at Twitter on Wednesday 25 March and you will find lots of references to The Annunciation. Many will be keeping the day in their hearts.
“The Holy Spirit has a way of getting to places and to people that we don’t always understand, and we certainly can’t package,” says Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
“People will take what steps they can to associate themselves spiritually with the celebration of Mass, and my guess is, will treasure it more when the freedom is back to attend Mass when we want.”
Writing from Rome in The Tablet this week Christopher Lamb observes: “Church teaching is that a virtual celebration of the liturgy does not fulfill the obligation to attend Mass in person, but digital technology has suddenly become a lifeline that enables Catholics to remain connected to their faith, albeit remotely.”