Be assured of my prayers, and that each one of you is close to my heart while we adjust to our temporary living and work situation.
In his latest directive, Metropolitan Joseph has required all parishes in California (and other states like New York) to celebrate Mass (Divine Liturgy) on Sunday, together with Lauds (Orthros). However, only three persons may be present during these services: the priest, one server, and one chanter.
His Eminence also encourages all parishes to live-stream the liturgical services so that people may pray together, albeit imperfectly, in their homes while they follow the directives of the government.
We live-streamed last night’s prayers, and will do the same tomorrow morning from 9 a.m. until the end of Mass. (The Mass will begin at 10 a.m.).
Here is the link: https://stmichaelwhittier.org/parish-site/videos.
This link automatically takes you to our Facebook page. You don’t need a Facebook account to watch the services; however, you may need to expand the picture. We have learned that this will work much better on a computer than on a phone.
THIS NEXT PART IS IMPORTANT
It is really hard, and unreal, to participate in the Mass by watching it on a device in your home. It’s easy to get distracted, to get up and get something, or to do several things at once. I urge you to resist these temptations as you watch.
Here are practical tips to get the most out of the live-streamed Mass:
- Before 9 a.m., place your device (phone, television, computer, tablet) on or near your icon corner; OR, surround your device with one or more icons.
- Turn off all possible distractions (phone, notifications, oven, alarms, etc.)
- Like you do before church, take care of all personal needs beforehand.
- Dress like you would for a regular Sunday Mass. (Casual clothes may encourage a casual, non-prayerful attitude.)
- Follow your regular pattern for maintaining the Eucharistic fast, refraining from food, coffee, etc. until after the Mass.
- Print the attached service booklets and have them in hand.
- Follow along during the services, and sing/speak along with us, in whatever way you normally would do during the Mass.
- As you are able, stand, sit, and kneel as you normally would do during the Mass.
- Finally, resist the urge to offer any comments online until after the Mass is over.
In short, I encourage you to make these few hours a time of sincere devotion and worship.
These are strange days, but they can be a blessing if we use them rightly:
- By spending some of our “shelter time” in prayer and spiritual reading
- By caring for each other and those in need in whatever way we can (even by simply making a phone call)
- By entering more deeply into the fast itself
Again, please be assured of my prayers.