“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”

The stories about the early Christians, as recorded in the Book of the Acts, describe an extraordinary common life and purpose. Luke shares with us a window into the homes of those first followers as he describes their generosity towards one another and their communal life. We read of his testimony to the way that Christ in Word and Sacrament nurtured the life and mission of God in the world and through the inspiration of his Holy Spirit grew and richly gifted the Church for the task of proclaiming and living out the Good News of the Gospel.

The text for this week from Acts 2: 42-47 can teach us a number of things which are relevant to our present situation. It may well be that five weeks into “lockdown” you are beginning to feel the absence of eucharistic worship and the gathered fellowship of the worshipping community? Whilst sacramental food is not something we can share in together at present, nevertheless we can discover in this text other ways to be fed and nurtured as Christian community. The online worship we are providing demonstrates a very real desire to try and meet some of the spiritual hunger and yearning to share together in praise and prayer.

Keeping faith alive and nurtured has been exercising my mind a lot. On social media I have detected a sense of loss expressed amongst some clergy as they ask the question: “How can I live out my calling in lockdown?” But this is a question for all of us. As we look to the possibilities, I invite you to open your Bibles and explore the practice of those first disciples. We learn from them about a commitment and devotion to the life of faith. There was a sense of excitement and wonder at all that God was doing in their midst. They acted with generosity in regard to material possessions, worship, fellowship and praise were important features of their daily lives. Through it they discovered the capacity to seek the well-being and flourishing of others. As they did so, the attractiveness of their love and generosity drew others to Christ and his Church.

“How do I live out my calling during lockdown?” There are very many opportunities to show generosity to our neighbours, to give of our possessions for the sake of the more needy and to demonstrate our faith through reaching out to lonely or isolated friends and neighbours.

How can each of us keep faith alive and draw others into that living faith? I have purposely written some words and sentences in bold in the text above and I invite you to find time to be still in the presence of our Risen Lord and ask him to speak and direct you through his Spirit towards an answer to that question. Which of the words or sentences speak to your heart? To what do you feel most drawn?

The starting point in keeping faith alive and nurtured is faithfulness in prayer and in the study of God’s Word. In that silent and centred place we can create the place to attend to God and discover the unique and daily call upon our lives. Whilst the physical sacrament of communion may not be available, Christ’s Word is waiting to be broken open and yielded up for each one of us. Food for the soul and life for the world.

DEAN CHRISTINE

Worship & Mission

Our online worship this Sunday will be Holy Communion. It will be online from 10.30am, and as always, you can watch it on
the Cathedral websitehttps://lincolncathedral.com/worship-music/home-worship-resources/video-reflections/
or our Facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/Lincoln.Cathedral

In the coming weeks we will have more services available:

Sunday 10 May – Choral Mattins
Sunday 17 May – Holy Communion
Thursday 21 May, Ascension Day – Holy Communion
Sunday 24 May – Choral Mattins
Sunday 31 May, Pentecost – Holy Communion

And please remember that on the final page of this Chapter letter is an order of service for Spiritual Communion

Community

InHouse
The next edition of InHouse is very likely to be available only as an electronic version, as it seems increasingly unlikely that the cathedral will be accessible by early June.

We have, as promised, several articles about the building which we think we will all enjoy while we can’t have the real thing, but we also want to give people a chance to share how they are and what’s been happening for our community.

We don’t want to be too much like Pollyanna but neither do we just want to share the sad and difficult bits. We would love to hear from you, the congregation and cathedral community, about life since we last met all together. For example, you might want to share new skills acquired, entertainment enjoyed online, shopping experiences, adapted exercise etc.

To include as many as possible, we would ask that contributions are a maximum of 300 words. If you have photos, that would be great too.

Please email your stories as Word documents and send photos separately as jpg files (we can cope with high resolution and that makes the finished product much better, so no need to squash files down).

Our deadline is 15 May and you can contact us at inhouse@lincolncathedral.com

Over the Rainbow
Lincoln Cathedral Choir has recorded a video of the song Somewhere over the Rainbow in tribute to the NHS, carers and frontline staff serving the country during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The performance features more than half of the Cathedral choristers as well as the lay vicars and choral scholars who make up the Cathedral choir, and was edited by Mark Wilde.

You can watch the full video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQJeokLyztA
We hope it brings a smile to your face!

Frieda Goodhead
It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of Freda Goodhead.

A librarian by profession, Freda volunteered for a number of years in the Cathedral Library and on the information desk. She was a very faithful person, and active member of the congregation and Cathedral community.

She found the Cathedral to be a place of security and stability in her life, especially in recent years as her dementia took a greater hold. She was regularly seen walking around the Cathedral and enjoying lunch in the refectory, where the team took great care of her extending a caring ministry and genuine affection, which we know she appreciated.

Despite our sadness at her passing, we give thanks that she is now at peace and have faith that in death she is made whole in body and mind.
We hold Freda, her family and friends in our prayers.

Pastoral care
If you would like support, or just a chat with a friendly voice, please do contact either the Subdean, the Dean’s Verger or the Assistant Curate. We also encourage you to continue to check on the welfare of friends, neighbours and relatives.

John Patrick 07956 566101 subdean@lincolncathedral.com
John Campbell 07733 276335 deansverger@lincolncathedral.com
Rachel Revely 07429 325559 assistantcurate@lincolncathedral.com

The Mind website also has some excellent resources to help you manage your wellbeing
https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

Bible Readings

Sunday 3 May
Fourth Sunday of Easter

Eucharist
Acts 2: 42-end
1 Peter 2: 19-end
John 10: 1-10

Mattins
Nehemiah 9: 6-15
1 Corinthians 10: 1-13

Evening Prayer
Ezra 3: 1-13
Ephesians 2: 11-end

—–

Sunday 10 May
Fifth Sunday of Easter

Eucharist
Acts 7: 55-end
1 Peter 2: 2-10
John 14: 1-14

Mattins
Ezekiel 37: 1-12
John5: 19-29

Evening Prayer
Zechariah 4: 1-10
Revelation 21: 1-14

—–

Sunday 17 May
Sixth Sunday of Easter

Eucharist
Acts 17: 22-31
1 Peter 3: 13-end
John 14: 15-21

Mattins
Job 14: 1-2, 7-15 and 19: 23-27a
1 Thessalonians 4: 13-end


Evening Prayer
Zechariah 8: 1-13
Revelation 21: 22-22.5

Spiritual Communion when unable to attend a celebration of the Eucharist
If a household are praying together one person may act as leader and the others as the congregation and they join in the sections in bold type. If alone read all the words aloud. You may want to light a candle before you begin, and have a bible, cross or crucifix to look at.

The Lord is here.        His Spirit is with us.

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 The Collect Prayer and Readings (see pages 2-4 for details)

 Spend a few moments praying for the people you know and love, the needs of the world and for an end to the current Pandemic. End your intercessions with The Lord’s Prayer.

OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, The power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.

An Act of Contrition

I love you, Jesus, my love above all things, and I repent with my whole heart of having offended you. Never permit me to separate myself from you again, grant that I may love you always, and then do with me what you will.

An Act of Spiritual Reception

In union, dear Father, with Christian people throughout the world and across the centuries gathered to make Eucharist, hearing your holy Word and receiving the Precious Body and Blood, I offer you praise and thanksgiving. Even though I am exiled from tasting the Bread of Heaven and drinking the Cup of Life I pray that you will unite me with all the baptised and with your Son who gave his life for us. Come Lord Jesus, dwell in me and send your Holy Spirit that I may be filled with your presence.

O LORD and heavenly Father, we your humble servants entirely desire your fatherly goodness mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most humbly beseeching you to grant, that by the merits and death of your Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we and all your whole Church may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion. Amen.

End by praying the Grace:

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us now and evermore. Amen.

 Oikodomeo

Resources for prayer When public worship is not possible

https://oikodomeo.home.blog/2020/03/17/resources-for-prayer-when-public-worship-is-not-possible/

https://oikodomeohome.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/spiritual-communion-2.pdf