The monastic enclosure on Skellig Michael
Churches without Walls
Church services have once again been suspended in many places across the world. Social life has changed dramatically and countless people have been quarantined or are self-isolating. At times like this, there is a great longing for community. Across these islands and across the world, many church services are streamed online. Anyone participating in an online service, from their desktop or laptop or mobile device, in the solitude of their home, is - for that space of time - a member of an online worship community. Here are links to a number of these resources, which we will refresh as time goes on.
This site gives links to a huge number of live streamed Masses all over the world, including Ireland/UK, the United States, Canada, Australia, the Phillippines, Rep. of South Africa, India, etc. There are Masses in English, Mandarin, Malayam, Tamil, Spanish and Chinese/Mandarin. Access this excellent resource here (allow a few seconds for the list of Masses to load).
Church Services TV is a valuable website where you can access live streaming of a substantial number of Roman Catholic church services in Ireland and the UK. The site provides a daily schedule for the current week, enabling you to plan ahead. Another very useful feature is "What's on now". On each page a search box at the top allows you to look for a particular church.
The title of this page, "Churches without Walls" was inspired by the phrase "Monastery without Walls" which is used to describe The World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM). WCCM is a global ecumenical contemplative network encouraging the practice of meditation in the Christian tradition of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. Dr Noel Keating is the National Coordinator of Christian Meditation Ireland, a body affiliated with WCCM. He leads a Zoom meditation session (approximately 30 minutes in duration) every Wednesday and Sunday at 7.30 pm (GMT). No matter where you are in the world, if you would like to participate in this beautiful contemplative group practice, just email Noel at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be added to the Zoom invitation list.
Noel also has a YouTube channel about meditation for children and young people. You can access it here.
"One day or another, we will all find ourselves walking through a grey landscape on the way to Emmaus, frankly disappointed with God...We take the path of the two disciples trying to make sense of a sudden loss. " In a requiem Mass for victims of COVID-19, Fr Denis McBride - Scottish Redemptorist priest, lecturer and author - delivers a powerful homily for those who lost loved ones. "Remember that neither of these two disciples were at the Last Supper.. It was not only his body that went into the tomb; their own hopes in him were buried with him. Without the opportunity to say goodbye.” That experience has been shared by so many in this pandemic. Fr McBride describes how the road to Emmaus led not to a place, but to a person: "For the disciples, that destination was Jesus. For us Christians too, it is also the risen Jesus. The same Jesus who urges us to lift up our eyes and look beyond the horizon." Watch this extraordinarily moving requiem Mass here.