Self-Isolated but Spiritually Connected!
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives in countless ways. Yet with the lockdown, self-isolation, and social distancing, there are still really good ways for people to stay connected with each other, the wider world, and with God. St Mary’s is committed to keeping those connections open.
Although our church buildings are closed for a season, the Church is not defined or contained within buildings. The Church is actually the whole people of God – people who are staying in their homes during the virus outbreak, people who are working the front lines of hospitals, and people who are maintaining the supply of necessities at supermarkets and through delivery services.
See below on how St Mary’s can keep you connected.
Helping Out Our Neighbours
Do you know someone who could use help during the coronavirus lockdown? Perhaps you know someone who needs assistance with groceries and errands, or someone who would like a friendly telephone call. St Mary’s is committed to helping the people of South Ruislip – regardless whether or not they worship at St Mary’s – with kind, neighbourly support. To enquire about help, call 020 8842 3783 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Worship online with St Mary’s. St Mary’s offers live-streamed Mass six days a week, as well as other services. Check out our online worship schedule here. Worship now occurs in St Mary’s Oratory, as the church building is closed in compliance with health directives. To have your prayer intentions said at Mass, send them to email@example.com. Since the public closure of churches, the live-streaming of Mass has become a significant way for people to follow the Mass and receive spiritual communion. Pope Francis has offered the following prayer for spiritual communion: My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart … I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
The Memorial Garden is Open for Prayer
St Mary’s Memorial Garden – located next to the main church building – is open for prayer everyday during daylight hours. The Memorial Garden, a consecrated place of rest for the deceased, has a live-size Crucifix of Our Lord and a large statue of Our Lady, where many people pray and leave votive candles. While you are out on a walk, feel free to stop by the Memorial Garden, enjoy the peace, and offer your prayers. Although the church building is currently closed, the Memorial Garden is an outdoor space open for the community.
Live-Streaming the Rosary
The prayer of the Rosary connects us with the world around, as we pray for those in the world, and with the heavenly world, particularly with Mary, the Queen of Heaven. For centuries, Christians have prayed the Rosary in community as well as on their own. The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham live-streams the Rosary, each day prayed as Shrine Prayers at 6.00 p.m., so wherever you are you can join in. Visit the Shrine’s Facebook page to pray with the Rosary.
Connecting Your Daily Prayer with the Universal Church
Christians around the world each day pray the same prayers, called the the Liturgy of the Hours. As people around the globe pray these ‘offices’ or prayers throughout different times of the day, the Church as the whole body of Christians prays without ceasing. One may wish to pray Morning Prayer, or Evening Prayer, or both. There are also others offices for other times of the day. Find the daily prayers online at the Universalis website, which can also be downloaded as an app.
A Prayer to Start the Day
The Morning Offering is a prayer said every morning by Christians through the UK and across the world. Join with millions of voices by praying:
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass through the world, for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month. Amen.
Staying Connected and Up-to-Date
As circumstances change rapidly, the best way to keep up-to-date with what is on offer at St Mary’s is by joining the Parish E-Updates. The Parish E-Updates provide details on how to join live-streaming book groups, Bible studies, and Gospel reflections, as well as parish WhatsApp groups . To sign-up for the updates, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and enter ‘subscribe’ in the subject line and your name.