Services during ‘Lockdown’
Covid19 Epidemic 2020
Invitation and Explanation of the 9th April 2020
Maundy Thursday Communion Service
APOLOGIES IN ADVANCE – THIS IS A SLIGHTLY LONG “READ-ME”! But please do read it, and think about it.
Maundy Thursday, in the usual pattern of Holy Week Services on Bute, is “our” evening to welcome our sisters and brothers, and, appropriately to the evening, we celebrate Communion. Our sisters and brothers from the other five churches join with us, and those whose traditions permit this take communion with us but EVERYBODY is welcome, and EVERYBODY is completely included.
The oneness in diversity that we celebrate during Holy Week – and all the rest of the year – is a precious part of our shared Christian identity on Bute.
This year, we can’t be together on that night in church, and in our tradition, a Minister can’t celebrate Communion on his own, but only with a congregation.
However, I have a congregation! A number of members of the UCB guarantee to be online with me as I live-stream a Communion Service on Maundy Thursday. No doubt many others will too, and friends from other churches.
They will have bread and wine with them, and when I have consecrated the elements, we will all partake.
If you wish to have bread and wine with you, and to consume them during the live stream, as we do, you are welcome to – AS LONG AS THE DISCIPLINE AND PRACTICE OF YOUR OWN CHURCH PERMIT THIS.
After all, if you happened to come into our church during a regular communion service, you would be offered the bread and wine, and the decision whether or not to take them would be entirely yours.
In this, we’re developing an approach explored within our sister United Reformed Church.
On the United Church of Bute YouTube channel (just put that into the search-box at the top of the YouTube page, and you’ll find it easily) there will be a service of the usual hymns and readings for Maundy Thursday. This will be available some hours beforehand, and of course you can watch it as soon as it’s up.
However, we recommend that you begin watching at 7.00 (the usual start time for Bute Holy Week Services.) There’ll be a brief period of prayer and reflection – three minutes – between the end of the recorded service and the start of the live stream. This will mean that people who are a couple of minutes late starting the recorded service have time to view it in its entirety, and still be part of the live communion.
We see the RECORDED SERVICE and the LIVE COMMUNION as one act of worship. (We’re going to edit the recordings of the two parts together afterwards anyway.)
It’s our effort to hold real united worship in Christ with all those Bute Christians who would normally be with us in the building, whether taking communion or not.
We’re also making every effort to let all our members know, so that those who are able can participate, and those who can’t join us (just like those who couldn’t come to church for a “normal” communion) will be told that they will of course receive communion as soon as that is possible.
Email us if you’d like to enable us to know that you will be with us from 7 on Maundy Thursday evening.
We welcome you to participate in this service however you wish. ALL WE WOULD ASK is that you DON’T GO AGAINST THE TRADITION AND PRACTICE OF YOUR OWN CHURCH, and that you DON’T VIOLATE YOUR OWN CONSCIENCE. Please speak to your priest or minister if you have any questions. Be very aware that, according to your tradition, your pastor will be praying for you or saying mass for you in any case.
We hope that, watching this service, however you wish to take part, or if you just want to watch, you will receive, on this night of all nights, the sense of the love of God reaching out to you in Christ, and that you will be drawn into reflecting on all that follows – Good Friday, and the “Crucified God” as Jurgen Moltmann calls him, Holy Saturday, with its quiet desolation, and the Easter Morning proclamation, that Christ is risen, he is risen indeed!
Worship is central to the life of the Church. It’s what the Church does before anything else, and without the grounding of the community’s life in God, through Christ, there isn’t a Church.
The principal service of the week, on a Sunday morning, inevitably reflects several things. To read more about the reflections which underpin our style and purpose of worship please click here.
Bus Timetable (West Coast Motors) 10.34 Leave Ettrick Bay (Summertime only) 10.40 Leave Port Bannatyne 10.49 Leave Guildford Square Arrive at the United Church of Bute at 10.55
Service of Communion at 11.00 am
on Sunday 2nd February 2020
Tuesday : at Port Bannatyne Village Hall – Every Tuesday at 11.15am (tea / coffee and fellowship from 10.30)
Wednesday : at Kingarth Hotel – usually the first Wednesday of every month at 2.30pm.
Communion : Usually on the first Sunday of February, June and November, and at Easter.