COVID-19: LWF offers liturgies for Holy Week and Easter

Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert

Worship in a time of physical distancing

(LWI) - As many Christians around the world anticipate an exceptional Holy Week and Easter period without the traditional physical gathering in church for worship due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Lutheran communion is offering liturgies that can be used for online services and at home.

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) proposes the Holy Week and Easter Worship in a time of physical distancing in several languages for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday.

The resource is part of LWF’s ongoing spiritual accompaniment with its member churches at a time when many individuals and families are confined to their homes in compliance with social distancing measures imposed by governments to stop the spread of the virus that leads to the deadly COVID-19 disease. Consequently, many churches have turned to online worship services and other forms of outreach.

LWF Assistant General Secretary for Ecumenical Relations Prof. Dr Dirk Lange said these liturgies for Holy Week and Easter "can be used in live-streamed or pre-recorded worship as well as by those who may find themselves alone at home without technology and only with a bulletin.”

The liturgies have been adapted for “this exceptional time when many churches are refraining from celebrating Holy Communion,” he added. The proposed resource “invites the worshiping community into waiting and hope of the Resurrection, as well as into the expectation to meet again in one place,” Lange said.

The compilation from worshiping traditions in the Lutheran communion and its ecumenical heritage can be adapted to many different contexts. Guidelines are provided to help individuals and families prepare for worship that includes objects such as candles and water to complement Bible readings, singing, praying and reflection.

Listen to Lange, together with the LWF Regional Secretaries for Africa and for Latin America, the Caribbean and North America, Rev. Dr Elieshi Mungure and Rev. Dr Patricia Cuyatti, discussing the new liturgical resources in an online conversation with LWF Program Executive for Identity, Communion and Formation, Rev. Dr Chad Rimmer.