A Liturgy for Good Friday in a time of pandemic

What is very obvious from live streaming liturgies in a small space and using a fixed camera is the difficulty of liturgical action. Without any action it is really just audio, but the action is difficult to capture without camera movement.

Anyway, here is my attempt at a liturgy for Good Friday in this strange year. In the absence of the action of the veneration of the cross I am using the poem After the Seven Last Words by poet Mark Strand. I think it is a rather stunning meditation. I shall intersperse the readings with Responsorial psalms and end with the Beatitudes. I will be interested to see how it works. It may be a bit rich for Good Friday – losing the starkness of the liturgy.

I shall use the Grail Psalms for all but the final Psalm (Ps 22) which will be from the BCP and sung to a traditional plainsong tone.

I would have liked to use some recorded music. I thought Hania Rani‘s Esja would work really well. But then I would be adding the action of turning on the music etc which would spoil my own engagement with the worship and also probably break Facebook’s copyright rules.

Compline in Holy Week

For Compline in the Sacred Triduum, Thursday, Friday and Saturday I will be using Latin for all but the poem. Here’s the booklet for Holy Thursday. Compline will be live streamed at midnight on Holy Thursday, and at 7pm on Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

Compline daily in the Easter Octave live streamed at 7pm BST preceded by 30 minute meditation:

At one level our communion with one another is always invisible, or at least largely invisible The people we gather with in church Sunday by Sunday, however large the congregation, are just a fragment of the many millions we are in communion with in heaven and on earth in the Body of Christ. We also share a deep, consubstantial, inter-being with all human beings in every time and place, and indeed with everything that exists, through our creation from the matter of the earth.

The current crisis has made some of that invisibility visible. I am really grateful for those who have joined me at Mass in my little Oratory and sent messages of appreciation. Several have asked for more of the Office to be streamed. So I thought I would add Compline for this Holy Week.

You will find the text and music I will use in the booklet above. I will do a new booklet each day with a different poem that I will read between the opening verses and the Prayers of Penitence.

As there is no movement or action I will focus the camera on one of the icons rather than on me. Which should improve the experience! I have indicated in the text where I will pause for silences, hopefully it’s not because I have fallen asleep.

I normally sing Compline rather early in the evening if I can, I will try for a consistent 7pm. It’s nice to feel the Office is complete before having family time and early to bed.

SOURCES

The Divine Office as used at Worth Abbey, music by Dom Philip Gaisford OSB:

music for the Introductory verses, the hymn, Responsory and the Refrain to the Nunc Dimittis

Hymn: Text Patrick Lee (Hymns for Prayer and Praise rev. Ed  265)

Samuel Weber OSB: refrains for the psalms

Aelred Seton Shanley Obl. OSN New Camaldoli: the anthem to Our Lady

Common Worship Daily Prayer: texts of the psalms and the Nunc Dimittis