COVID-19: Centre for Liturgy brings virtual liturgical resources
Sister Kerry Willison RSM, Director of Archdiocesan Centre for Liturgy, said the Centre had created and produced web-based material to support various liturgical ministries during COVID-19 restrictions period. Photo: Supplied.
By Theresia Titus
The Archdiocesan Centre for Liturgy has continued to support various liturgical ministries during the period of isolation, despite limitations on physical gatherings enforced by Coronavirus-led restrictions.
Sister Kerry Willison RSM, Director of Centre for Liturgy, told The Record that “an effort has been made to create and source web-based material on the Word of God as a presence of Jesus in the world during this time of social isolation”.
“While the presence of Jesus cannot be fully celebrated in the Eucharist at this time, it is always possible to fully celebrate the presence of Jesus in the Word and the people of God as the carriers of that Word in whatever form it may take to support our community spiritually in difficult times,” Sr Kerry said.
“The staff at the Centre for Liturgy have continued working throughout the COVID-19 period of isolation.
“Each member of staff contributes in the development and sourcing of resources for the website within their area of expertise [and] we have a staff meeting by zoom each week,” she added.
The initial focus of the Centre was to prepare online reflection materials for the Easter Triduum and since 30 March the Centre has developed materials on:
- Two sets of 24-hour virtual Stations of the Cross using images of the Cathedral Stations with embedded music background;
- Online Easter Triduum reflections for home use;
- Videos about the understanding of Mass;
- Prayer experiences for families and individuals to celebrate in the safety of their homes;
- Reflections on the Saints, including the Gospel and antiphon of the Mass of the day; and
- The Centre for Liturgy website to include the Prayer of the Church, Lectio Divina experiences, a Marian reflection for the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, the Rosary, and Prayer for Anzac Day.
Sr Kerry believed that by embracing the Church by way of live-streamed Masses people were able to develop “spiritually, mindful that we are part of a community”. Photo: Sourced.
Sr Kerry also mentioned that letters were sent to all parish priests, inviting them to let the Centre know should their need support as she was concerned about the regional parishes and their priests.
“There have been some positive responses mainly from the laypeople but that is an indication the parish priests are putting the Centre for Liturgy website details in the weekly newsletters or on their webpage front covers,” Sr Kerry added.
Sr Kerry believed that as physical gatherings were not possible during the period of COVID-19 restrictions, embracing the Church by way of live-streamed Masses is a way for people to develop “spiritually, mindful that we are part of a community”.
“This time of disconnect was also an opportunity to explore other forms of prayer that could be prayed in family groups or perhaps used as a prayer on Zoom experiences, as people found creative ways to stay connected to each other, conduct meetings and find some peace and reassurance in a time of uncertainty,” she said.
“Developing virtual resources to support parish ministry training won’t happen overnight but the Centre for Liturgy staff are committed to better resourcing the parishes and agencies of the Archdiocese liturgically in whatever way is needed.
“This time of COVID-19 has been an opportunity to spend a little more time in private prayer and reflection, perhaps on the scripture readings of the Sunday in preparation for the Sunday Mass or time to explore other forms of prayer that can support ourselves, families and friends in our spiritual growth.”
The materials developed include virtual Station of the Cross, Online Easter Triduum reflections and prayer experiences for families and individuals to celebrate in the safety of their homes. Photo: Supplied.
Sr Kerry said the Centre would continue developing online liturgical materials “for liturgical prayer and move to conduct some of the training sessions for acolytes, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and others”.
“Being present to each other is important but when it comes to liturgical training sessions it has always been a challenge to meet the needs of every parish in the Archdiocese when it comes to timing and venue.
“COVID-19 has clearly shown us that we can do it differently so that as many people and parishes can be supported liturgically with the training of their liturgical ministers and answering their liturgical queries.
“With the virtual training sessions, we also hope to provide opportunities for ‘question and answer’ sessions once participants have completed the online training,” she added.
Sr Kerry expressed that the feedback garnered from the Centre’s efforts has been positive, noting that “people seem to have welcomed some guidance in prayer and reflection” during the COVID-19 period.