1. Praying with the Sunday readings: Such prayer may take many forms including Lectio Divina and Liturgies of the Word in families or small groups. Parishes may like to download the ‘Weekly Prayer Sheet’ with the Sunday readings from LiturgyHelp and email it to parishioners.
2. The Prayer of the Church: We recommend morning and evening prayer to individuals and families. We suggest downloading the Universalis App which contains not only the Prayer of the Church but also the Mass of the day and many other things. See also: https://liturgy.life/2020/03/keepingsunday-holy-when-we-cannot-gather-for-mass-liturgy-of-the-hours/
3. Recorded Homilies: The homilies of Bishop Bill or Fr Andrew from the Cathedral Mass on Sundays will be recorded and made available online by lunch time on Sundays. These may help in individual or small group reflections on the readings of the day. These homilies can be accessed via Spotify or iTunes.
4. Mass Streamed from Sacred Heart Cathedral: As already mentioned, the Diocese and Cathedral is currently investigating the possibility of livestreaming the Sunday Mass from Sacred Heart Cathedral celebrated by the Bishop or the Vicar General. Further information will be made available via the Diocesan website, which will also host the livestream if it becomes available.
The resources from LiturgyHelp can be of great assistance at this time in two significant ways:
1. This is the time to use LiturgyHelp to its fullest capacity. Make sure you are using your fifty part-usernames and logins for all your liturgical and pastoral ministers. Those who have access are encouraged to continue to reach out to members of the community during this time. For example, parish secretaries or Children’s Liturgy ministers could download the resources under ‘children’ on the Sunday menu, and then send them to the families of children who would normally participate in Children’s Liturgy, or to those who were enrolled in the sacramental journey.
2. Everyone in the diocese – individuals and families – can access a range of resources being made available through a special login. Parishioners should go to liturgyhelp.com/aus/mn/generalaccess, and enter their name and email address. This is for all people in communities connected to the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and will be available from Midday on Friday 20 March.
The resources available on the special login access version of LiturgyHelp will grow over time and initially include:
• Access to the daily readings
• Access to the daily Missal texts
• Sunday Prayer Services (Liturgy of the Word and weekly prayer sheets)
• Sunday and Special Feasts Scripture Commentary
• Sunday and Special Feasts Homily and Reflection
• Sunday Universal Prayer
• General prayer – traditional, prayers to our Lady and litanies.
• Sunday Prayer of the Church (Divine Office) from 29 March (morning and evening prayer)
There will be the possibility for us to augment this section over time if that were needed.
A Moment To Reflect
This moment of crisis is for all people, especially people of faith, an opportunity. What is God revealing to us in this unusual moment of hunger for Eucharist? We believe in the centrality of the word of God to our lives as disciples and as a community of the faithful. This is an opportunity to immerse ourselves in the word and to deepen the way we abide in the Word. Who might we become over this time if we do turn to the Word of God as the primary source of our sustenance? We have largely ignored the treasure of the Prayer of the Church – primarily Morning and Evening Prayer. Who might we become if we prayed this prayer and became more familiar with the Psalms and the human cries we hear there? Let us seize this opportunity so that when this moment is over we might return to our celebration of Eucharist with a deeper love for it and a renewed sense of what it means to participate fully consciously and actively in the Paschal Mystery and life of our Triune God.