Signs of Hope-April 1, 2020

04.01.20 | by Michael Strande

    We are a Church Without Walls 

    From the Church document “The Dedication of a Church and an Altar”

    “A Church may come into being, exist without masonry walls. Christ is the reason for its existence and the Holy Spirit the well-spring of its life. Yet since the pilgrim Church on earth cannot exist outside the categories of space and time, it usually erects buildings of stone which are the visible counterparts of the invisible ‘house of God’ (1 Cor 3:9), the place where the faithful meet in their worship or in holy assembly.”

    The walls of the physical building, because they are visible, stand “as a special sign of the pilgrim Church on earth” and reflect “the Church dwelling in heaven.” The “chosen people now journeying through life” are guided by the word of God and find security and peace in the Church until they “arrive safely at their eternal home.”

    In other words: We are a Church without walls. The building is simply a sign of something greater.

    In normal conditions the building is the designated place where we gather. But in these times we can, and should, continue to be Church in ways that display that we continue to journey through life together as a people shepherded by Christ and led by the Holy Spirit.

    While we gather for these liturgies online we invite all of you to create a sacred space in your home that will be near the place where you will be logging into the liturgies. If you can designate a table to be the focal point of your prayer during the times we gather. Place items that have a spiritual or emotional significance on your home ‘altar’. You can include a bible, an important photograph of loved ones, an icon, a candle, a cross. Whatever is important to you.

    There are a few items that we would like you to add to your prayer table.

    • Holy Thursday: a palm. You may get a palm at Guardian Angels. They will be left outside the front doors in the large boxes they were shipped in. Take one or two if you like. Also, for Holy Thursday a small bowl of water.
    • Good Friday: a cross on your prayer table.
    • Easter Vigil: a candle and a bowl of water.
    • Easter Sunday: a bowl of water.

    The sacredness of these coming days are sacred not merely because they are the anniversary of events that happened two thousand years ago. These days are holy because of how we gather together as a community, as the Body of Christ. Normally, and ideally, we gather in our beautiful Church building; our designated home of the sacred. It is not sacred because of its beauty but because that is where we meet. This Holy Week we are celebrating that we are a Church without walls. Whether we gather in our building or in our homes let us remember one another and make this Holy Week the most sacred of all days.

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