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The Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe

Messages from Bishop Mark

A Word on Closures during COVID-19

Posted by The Rt. Rev. Mark D. W. Edington on

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Perhaps for the first time in our long history, not one of our churches in Europe will be open for worship this coming Sunday. It is not war that has caused this; it is a virus that is ravaging the planet, causing tremendous worry and great suffering.
We are homeless for a while, unable to join together in the embrace of our buildings for fellowship and prayer. That is a great loss, and we feel in keenly.
But we are not without the church—not ever. We have always said, and it is no less true for our saying it, that the church is the people of God, and not the house in which they dwell; and so we are still the church, even if we cannot be in the church.
But we are not without resources. The entire Book of Common Prayer has been made available online (you can find it at this link , and I commend to you an exploration of the services for individual and family worship that have been found in our prayer books since Thomas Cranmer first assembled the work. As Anglicans, our great inheritance is the offices of Morning and Evening Prayer, and the 1979 Prayer Book gave us as well the gifts of a Noonday office and Compline. 
These are resources well with discovering in this time of enforced contemplation and quiet, and I commend to you the idea of taking up a small discipline of opening the Prayer Book for just a few minutes every day. It will reward you richly, and serve as ready and unwavering companion, even when the perils of the world seem set to overtake us.
I am also very pleased to share with you a Companion of brief reflections for the days ahead, leading to what we hope will be the lifting on April 17 of the restrictions on travel within and into the European Union. The writers of these reflections are from all around our Convocation—and you will find their insights a source of help and rekindled community for these days of isolation.
The sermon I was to have preached at the cathedral this forthcoming Sunday will not, needless to say, take place there; but you find a version of it at this link. I encourage you to explore the compendium of online services now being offered around the Convocation in these days of distancing; please visit a community other than your own, and join with others in the Convocation in offering praise to the God who conquers death—and who inspires the hearts of those who care for the ill as well as the minds of those who seek treatments and a cure.
The Right Reverend Mark D. W. Edington
Bishop in Charge
Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe

Tags: health, lent, wellness, coronavirus