A short text message and some creative thinking opened the door to a completely secular liturgy of the Word Zoom.

Moving to the former parishes of Newtown and Island Bay, now the parish of Wellington South, helps the community keep in touch when parishioners are unable or anxious to come to Mass.

In essence, as a ministry of the Word, it is based on acquaintance, but does not claim to be what it is not, the Eucharist at a distance or the Eucharist, where participants watch as some chosen ones gather at the table to eat and drink.

The Liturgy of the Word Zoom is also a live event and is not recorded, so people must be there to participate.

“In a way, it’s more transparent than Mass, everyone sees you, and it’s harder to sneak in unnoticed when you’re late,” a somewhat embarrassed parishioner told CathNews.

Another described the Liturgy of the Word Zoom as “a well-planned, liturgically and spiritually nourishing journey.”

“We were enthusiastic about creative initiatives who arose and how the risen Lord used them to bestow his graces ”. – Catholic bishops of NZ.

The idea arose at a parish meeting where they heard that parishioners, even if they are closed, want to be together spiritually, but without the social anxiety of being inside the church.

So, identifying the need, the organizers developed something familiar but focused.

On average, about 60 parishioners participated.

“The opportunity for a group of believers to pray together is wonderful; The long-term impact of this is yet to be seen, says Joe Greyland, author, liturgist and doctor of theology specializing in liturgy and sacramental theology.

He describes the Liturgy of the Word Zoom as a significant development in Catholic worship.

“There is a democratization of worship through the work of many people, and there is community between those who gather. Both are important because they refocus the worship we usually have on Sundays, ”he says.

By embarking on this process, parishioners have discovered a number of gifts and talents that organizers say are similar to the Early Church.

Feedback is said to be very positive, and in particular, people note well-prepared reflections at Sunday readings.

“We enjoyed working together and improving every week in a safe environment without condemnation,” a CathNews participant said.

“The liturgy was prayerful, inclusive, hospitable and not threatening,” said another.

“God always provides for his people. The sacraments, which are the main bearers of God’s life in the Church, are not the beginning of grace and have no monopoly on it. God is the source of all grace and God freely chooses the reward for virtue, good intentions, and deeds. ” – Catholic bishops of NZ.

Grayland supports tools like Zoom that can serve the community well, supporting it together during long periods of blockage, traffic light status and vulnerabilities. However, he says such tools are still in their infancy and have their limits.

“They work well in meeting formats, but a little less where there are several participants at the same time.”

Greyland says tools for online conversations such as Zoom are especially good for one-on-one interaction, but their current limitations are restrictive when, for example, they are used for community singing and prayer.

“A band can’t literally pray to each other by ear or in presence – because when everyone is talking together on Zoom, it’s just noise.

“The only way to pray together is when everyone but the leader is silent,” Greyland said.

“The Holy Liturgy does not exhaust all the activities of the Church. Before people (sic) can come to the liturgy, they must be called to faith and conversion: “How can they call N.in whom have they not yet believed? But how can they believe someone they haven’t heard of? And how do they hear when no one is preaching? And how do you preach to people if they are not sent? ” (Rom. 10: 14-15) ”. – Sacronsanctum Concilium No 9.

The liturgical group plans to further improve parish life, now parishioners have felt the taste of gathering “as one.”

There are also plans to provide catechesis, liturgical formation and technical training to the Zoom-host.

The group is also looking to expand the group of parishioners who can participate in making liturgies work the next time there is a blockage, a red traffic light or when people feel vulnerable.

The organizing group says one of the “real” things the initiative emphasizes is the need to update the parish census and contact information.

The Zoom Liturgy of the Word initiative was approved by the priest of Wellington South Parish Fr.


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