Beloved Friends and Colleagues,

We are writing to introduce ourselves as the newly formed Bishop’s Liturgical Commission in the Diocese of Los Angeles, and also to offer our prayers, support, and encouragement to you in the midst of this challenging time. We would like to work for you and with you! Please consider this a warm introduction and invitation, with the hopes that we can continue to be in conversation about our shared life of prayer.

The Commission Members are:
The Rev. Dr. Michelle Baker-Wright, Chair
The Rev. Canon Susan Russell, Staff Liaison
The Rev. Dr. Randall Day
The Rev. Norma Guerra
The Rev. Dr. Gianluigi Gugliermetto
The Rev. Yein Kim
The Rev. Judith Lyons
The Rev. Brent Quines
The Rev. Kay Sylvester
The Rev. Jeffrey Thornberg
The Rev. Fernando Valdes
The Rev. Liz Williams

As we enter the fifth week of Lent and approach Holy Week, it is critical for all of us to remember that Bishop Taylor and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry have wisely directed us to diligently observe national and local health policies that have been set for the protection of our communities. This means that, even as we enter into this holiest of weeks, we must continue to conscientiously observe social distancing measures. Holy Week and Easter services must solely occur in livestream and virtual forms.

Our presiding bishop will not authorize remote consecration of bread and wine, and has instead advised that we emphasize prayers for spiritual communion. Below, you will find a liturgy that makes use of the language that our presiding bishop has provided. For more information, please see Bishop Taylor’s post. In addition, Bishop Taylor requests that you not send palm crosses to parishioners by mail, because they can't be properly sanitized.

We are all eager for this situation to end, so that we can worship together in shared physical spaces once more. But to do so prematurely puts all of us at risk, especially the most vulnerable among us.

Another logistical area that social distancing impacts is that of musical performance, which provides special challenges in Holy Week! Bishop Taylor has given permission for under-65, healthy organists to go alone into their churches, sanitizing everything before and after, to record music that can then be integrated into virtual worship. This idea can apply to a range of instrumental and vocal soloists as well. Some musicians have home recording studios available to them, and this is a good time to make use of this resource, and possibly help musicians who have lost critical work that is usually connected with the Easter season, and who are struggling with the financial impact this pandemic has had upon the gig economy.

Many of us have already begun the task of planning Holy Week services with social distancing and exclusively online parameters in mind. Following the lead of Bishop Taylor, Bishop Bruce, and Canon McCarthy, we want to support you as much as possible in your efforts to protect the health of your communities while also providing liturgies and prayers that will support your Holy Week observances.

To that end, we are offering resources that we have begun collecting that we hope will be helpful. These liturgies are not intended to be comprehensive or definitive. However, they can serve as templates that can be rapidly adapted, and can help all of us quickly yet prayerfully prepare for Holy Week in this busy and unpredictable time.

Please see what is offered here as a springboard to help make these weeks more prayer-filled and less stress-filled. Adapt what is useful to your contexts, and set aside things that do not fit.

These resources are but a starting point, and we want to hear from you! We are especially seeking liturgical resources in a greater breadth of languages. Please be in touch with us with your ideas, resources, and suggestions. Send photos if possible! We will walk through this time together!

Grace and peace to you in your preparations for Holy Week,

The Rev. Dr. Michelle Baker-Wright, Chair

The Rev. Canon Susan Russell, Staff Liaison 
Domingo de Ramos en Casa/
Spanish Language Palm Sunday liturgy
A resource from Dr. Juan Oliver, custodian of the Book of Common Prayer
Click here.

Holy Week at Home
Adaptations of the Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday Rituals for Family and Household Prayer
Offered by Liturgical Press and created for a Roman Catholic audience, this has some helpful ideas particularly for Palm Sunday at home. PDF is here.

Also see the Liturgical Press website, which says that a Spanish language edition is coming soon.

Triduum Under Quarantine 2020
By Lifelong Christian Formation at Virginia Theological Seminary
Click here for a folder with multiple documents on various topics. To edit the documents, you will need to download them to your own computer, save and edit them there. A video version is on YouTube here.

The Three Days at Home
Originally created by Lutheran liturgical scholars Dr. Gail Ramshaw and Dr. Gordon Lathrop, and adapted for use in the Episcopal Church by the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. Click here.

Home Triduum Liturgies from the Diocese of Olympia
Adapted from the Book of Common Prayer by the Rev. Josephine Robertson and the Rev. Joseph Peters-Mathews, these liturgies include prayers of preparation in times of pandemic/epidemic, and are particularly framed for times around a family table.

A Form for Spiritual Communion
"A spiritual communion is a personal devotional that anyone can pray at any time to express their desire to receive Holy Communion at that moment, but in which circumstances impede them from actually receiving Holy Communion." Click here.

Rubric and text for Invitation to Holy Communion
(Spiritual Communion) in Spanish and English
In place of the Invitation ("The gifts of God..."), the following Prayer of Spiritual Communion, is recommended:

My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I love you above all things, and long for you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

Jesús mío, creo que eres verdaderamente presente en el Sagrado Sacramento del Altar. Te amo encima de todas las cosas, y te anhelo en mi alma. Como ahora no te puedo recibir sacramentalmente, entra al menos espiritualmente en mi corazón. Como si ya hubieras venido, te abrazo y me uno completamente a ti; nunca permitas que me separe de ti. Amén.
—St. Alphonsus de Liguori, 1696-1787

Stations of the Cross
Please see here for Stations of the Cross visuals from All Saints, Pasadena.
A Flickr account — available without charge — is needed to access the gallery.

Free OneLicense through April 15
In recognition of the increased need for virtual services and the financial constraints that churches are currently facing, OneLicense is offering free licenses through April 15. More information is here.

Food for Thought
The Rev. Dr. Samuel Torvend’s article “The Gifts of Saint Benedict in a Time of Social Isolation” offers useful ideas about how to create patterns of individual and family prayer in the midst of the challenges of social distancing.