#stayconnected: A short opening song for humming and with gestures

When the choir started meeting online to say Evening Prayer we figured very quickly that singing via Zoom is not very satisfying. So I asked Pastorin Anne Smets, a good friend of the choir, to lead us in a simple prayer with hand gestures. And so we have been starting our online Evening Prayer with this simple prayer ever since:

“Opening my ears / I listen with my heart / waiting for God”

This morning when updating the page about our online resources I removed (for copyright reasons) the Taizé songs which I recorded for Holy Week. And so I was left with the question what else to put there instead.

You see, it’s the simple things which are very likely to stick. And so of course our little “opening prayer” came up, and very quickly a simple melody:

I hope you all learn it so that you can hum along and pray with your hands when we gather again in the church!

Yotin Tiewtrakul, Choirmaster

Church reopening: when and how?

The Chaplaincy Council met on 6 May (via Zoom) and discussed the reopening in the context of the guidance received from our Bishops and what is permitted in Hamburg. Although churches may open, there are very strict conditions set. The Council therefore decided that the church will stay closed until the beginning of June to allow for proper preparation.

Fr Pete Wright is still our locum until the end of May, however, and will continue until then to film services together with members of the congregation and post them here: see church online.

There is a small group of people working on what we need to do to reopen the church. We will let you know as soon as we can when that will be and how we are going to do it.

Maundy Thursday – Virtual Service

A Message from Father Pete.

Unfortunately, we can’t meet together in the church today.  Please use this Youtube link to join us at 07:00 pm today (9 April, 2020).  YOU CAN USE THE LINK AT ANY TIME, but knowing that all the Christians at St.Thomas’ are worshipping at the same time adds a powerful dynamic to the notion of “community.”

As you recall, it is on this day that we commemorate Jesus washing the feet of his apostles It was also the day he left us Holy Communion, that special encounter with the Divine. Therefore, I would like to suggest a way to make the Maundy Thursday online liturgy more alive and “hands on,” especially if you have children. Involving children’s senses helps them to more easily understand, feel, and retain what is being taught. And guess what: sensory is also good for adults!

Here’s what to do!

FOR THE WASHING OF THE FEET

1) Before Thursday, get a large bowl big enough into which your foot will fit.
2) Get a pitcher into which you will put some warm water prior to the service.
3) Get a towel.
4) Designate someone in your household who will WASH feet, and someone whose feet will BE washed. Or you can wash each other’s feet!

FOR THE LAST SUPPER REMEMBRANCE

1) Get a piece of bread and place it on a dish.
2) Get a cup or glass for each person who will be present.
3) Get some wine or grape juice (in a pinch, any juice will do)

Since we cannot share in the Eucharist (Holy Communion) that day, we will instead have an “agape” meal, where I will explain what happened at the Last Supper. The elements you will have before you and that you will eat and drink will be a reminder of fellowship and happiness that comes from knowing, loving and serving Jesus.

Fr. Pete Wright, Chaplain