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Virtual v Physical, doing church in a Pandemic

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by mindlight, May 23, 2020 at 1:49 PM.

  1. mindlight

    mindlight See in the dark Supporter

    Our church had a discussion meeting last week about the Pandemic. One man said he was giving communion to his family blessing the bread and the wine. Personally I believe in the apostolic succession and believe that an ordained minister from a church in the apostolic line of succession should do the blessing and lead such a service. But saying this provoked a more general discussion over what required physical presence to be real and what could be done remotely. Obviously with Covid-19 stalking the pews many believers around the world are forced to worship at home. But what does that mean when it comes to sacraments and sharing and indeed doing church.

    Before this degenerates into a Catholic - Protestant denominational discussion I would like to point out that during the Black Death pope Clement VI was so worried about the inability of priests to give last rites without dying of the plague he actually gave a general absolution for anyone who died of plague. So a sort of remote absolution?

    So my questions to all groups of Christians is this. Does plague give special dispensation for a virtual sharing of the sacraments as opposed to the physical sharing of them. Do we have take the physical bread and wine to be in communion with Christ. Can we baptise online. Can we be married online in the eyes of God.

    What does it mean to do church in the days of Pandemics. What things will just have to wait for us to be physically back together and what things can be done online
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  2. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla ❤️ Supporter

    United States
    My Shabbat celebrations included bread (challah) and wine. It wasn't necessary to have someone presiding over them. I blessed them and we partook. That's an integral part of Judaism I didn't set aside when I returned to faith. There's a rich tradition of home practices for its followers. Including holidays. Due to my exposure I never developed the notion of church versus home. I viewed both as acts of service or worship.

    You've raised important questions. I think the answers are individual. We have to come to a place of peace on the topic within ourselves. Unless you follow a tradition which makes the decision on your behalf. I don't.

    It will be a long while before I attend a gathering. I'm comfortable with that position.

    Last edited: May 23, 2020 at 3:28 PM
  3. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

    If one is a disciple of Jesus, he can take bread and wine in memory of Jesus as he taught, no priests are necessary.

    Then he took a loaf of bread, gave thanks, broke it in pieces, and handed it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Keep on doing this in memory of me.” He did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, poured out for you.
    Luke 22:19-20

    Actually, if we read what Jesus said, it is questionable to even be a priest, because:

    For they bind heavy burdens that are grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not lift a finger to help them. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad, enlarge the fringes of their garments, and love the place of honor at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, the salutations in the marketplaces, and to be called 'Rabbi, Rabbi' by men. But don't you be called 'Rabbi,' for one is your teacher, the Christ, and all of you are brothers. Call no man on the earth your father, for one is your Father, he who is in heaven. Neither be called masters, for one is your master, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you will be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
    Mat. 23:4-12