One year ago when in person Mass participation was paused the faithful gathered in their homes for live streamed Masses That worked well for a few months as we navigated “stay at home orders.” Yet we longed to be together for worship.
With the change of the season, a number of people left their homes to worship in the church parking lot. Those warm summer Sunday mornings people gathered together as a community to worship. The outdoor parking lot masses worked for a while until the church doors openned for small groups of people.
The seasons changed and so did the Liturgical Year. The Church journeyed from Ordinary Time into the Seasons of Advent and Christmas, and in a few short weeks we entered the Season of Lent. Lent passed, and soon we were entering the solomn time of Holy Week and the Easter Triduum. The festive celebrations of bells rings, and the resounding Alleluia, Christ has truly Risen. Throughout the liturgical seasons, the pandemic remained present, intertwined into our rituals.
With more people are getting vaccinated, they are gradually returning to church. Some are still very hesitant. This is the betwixt / between times for returning to worship. It almost seems to have the HOLY Saturday pause as we all try to sort out, where do we go from here? How do we bridge or invite others to return back to in person worshop? I continue to pray and reflect about the how to invite people back to church. We are a community of believers, and there is something to be said of PRESENCE. Jesus the Christ is present in Word, Eucharist, and Community. What does it mean to be present during a pandemic?