Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Given the recommendation of President Trump to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people (15 Days to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus); and the request of Bishop Brewer to "suspend in-person gatherings for public worship," All Souls, beginning on the Fourth Sunday in Lent (March 22nd) will move to online services. This is, of course, a temporary measure.
First, and I want to make this clear: we are not cancelling services. Let us remove that sort of language from our vocabulary -- the word "cancelled" is cancelled. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be offered. The ministry of Word and Sacrament will continue NO MATTER WHAT. However, it will look different for a season. How long? Only God knows. Let us continue to pray for God's mercy on the Church and the world.
What will Sundays be like? I, along with those assisting me (the total of which will be no more than ten persons), will celebrate the Holy Eucharist. The rest of the faithful will be provided with PDF's of the service booklet and participate online. In addition, members and regular attenders are encouraged to schedule Eucharistic visits or make a "spiritual communion" (which is a liturgy for those who cannot receive the Sacrament).
We will continue to participate in the life of Christ by devoting ourselves "to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers" (Acts 2:42):
---- The Apostles' Teaching: We can continue to read and meditate upon the Scriptures by making use of the Lenten prayer guide (which is drawing on the Daily Office Lectionary). We can learn of the Ancient Faith in our small group study on the Desert Fathers.
---- The Fellowship: Especially during this uncertain time, we need to be caring for and checking in on one another. I urge you to take the time to call or message people in the congregation to see how they are, let them know you're praying for them, and see how you can encourage them. Also, if you have a need, please make it known.
---- The Breaking of Bread: As stated above, the sacramental life of the Church will continue. You can request a Eucharistic visit or make an appointment for Confession by emailing FrMatt@AllSoulsFL.org.
---- The Prayers: Pray the Daily Office, do Lenten devotions as a family, pray the Lord's Prayer, go for a walk and say the Jesus Prayer ("Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner"), or pray the 23rd Psalm (our psalm for this Sunday!).
May grace, peace, and protection be upon you and your families.