My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
When I reinstated services at St. James in May, it was with the hope that by now circumstances might allow a return to some sort of normalcy. Unfortunately, that has not proven to be the case as God obviously has a somewhat different plan in mind. The pandemic currently plaguing our country continues to be unpredictable, aside from its ability to be unpredictable. It is therefore not surprising that some of us may be unwilling to risk exposure to the virus by participating in public gatherings, such as attendance at Church. I have also taken note that some of those who do attend have declined to receive the Sacrament, in spite of the precautions that I have put in place.
It is also understandable that some might think that they have been forgotten, because of their absence from Church. I want to assure you that this is not the case. Please believe me when I tell you that the absence of even one member is keenly felt by the entire Parish. Believe me also when I tell you that those who choose to stay away remain always in the prayers of the Parish in hope for the continued health of all. We know of your concerns, and we share them. But even when we cannot be at Church we have the opportunity to join with our brothers and sisters in Christ in the worship of God. We do this through the act of “Spiritual Communion”.
“Spiritual Communion” is basically an individual act undertaken when one is physically unable to attend Mass and make a Sacramental Communion. You may find a brief form for this in the St. Augustine Prayer Book. In this way, you may join with your brothers and sisters at St. James in the Worship of God at the Sacrifice of the Mass.
In any case, all should know that there remains a connection; a connection between parish and parishioner; a connection between parishioner and Sacrament; a connection between Sacrament and God. In this connection all our Hope resides. And through this Hope, through the Grace we receive from God by His Holy Sacraments, we will emerge from these troubled times. And by His Grace, we will do so triumphantly proclaiming His Gospel, in connection with all His Faithful people. By His Grace, all may know that you are not alone nor forgotten.
I ask your prayers for immortal soul of Gladys White, who departed this life on August 11, 2020. Gladys, mother of our Treasurer Cathy White, was a long time member of St. James, serving this parish faithfully in so many ways. Rest Eternal grant unto her, O Lord, and let light Perpetual shine upon her. May she rest in Peace. Amen.
As always, if there are any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact me.
Yours in Christ,