Just a couple of months ago there were bright red pohutukawa flowers throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. It is hard to remember them as we enter these new and uncharted waters of a pandemic, which is changing the way we live and interact. As we traverse this time, remember – the pohutukawa will flower again, as it always does, later in the year. In the meantime we will put some aids to reflection and prayer here to help us as we adjust to a changed balance between personal and community prayer.
RESOURCES FOR HOLY WEEK
Holy Week in a bubble – Suggestions for families and groups to celebrate Holy Week from Fr Patrick Bridgman, Liturgy Advisor, Archdiocese of Wellington
Passion Sunday 5 April 2020 – Reflection on Sunday readings from Sr Anne Powell, Cenacle Sisters
Family celebration of the Triduum at home – from Fr Marlon Tebelin, Filipino Chaplain Archdiocese of Wellington
Fr James Lyons has expanded his daily meditations “In Reverse – Prayer in a TIme of Isolation” to 14 days, including meditations for Holy Week.
The National Centre for Religious Studies (NCRS) – part of Te Kupenga-Catholic Leadership Institute – has a new app NZpray2day on Google Play for Android devices. NZpray2day is designed to support young and old in Catholic schools and parishes to enter simply into the richness of the ancient Christian cycle of seasons, saints and readings.
Food for Faith is a New Zealand website run by Fr John O’Connor of Christchurch which provides daily reflections.
Emmaus Productions is offering families and communities video and music resources to support them spiritually during this extraordinary time, as well as offering support to them in their celebration of Holy Week and Easter. It includes resources for children.
Pope Francis’ daily Mass at Santa Marta at 7am Rome time (7pm NZ time) can be watched on the Vatican’s Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJHI8bI0LWg or on Rome Reports https://www.romereports.com/…/live-popes-mass-at-santa-mar…/
Univeralis https://universalis.com/index.htm provides the Liturgy of the Hours and Mass readings for each day.
https://www.sacredspace.ie/ provides simple guided prayer for each day.
https://www.facebook.com/taize The Taize community livestreams its Evening Prayer each day at 8.30pm Central European Time (8.30am NZ time).
https://pray-as-you-go.org/ Pray as you go provides prayer for each day as well as longer multi-day “retreats”. In response to the COVID-19 situation they have a retreat called “Pray as you stay”. Pray as you go is also available as an app.
ThinkingFaith.org is the online journal of the Jesuits in Britain. It contains reflections, connections to other Jesuit sites, and articles.
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
— Lynn Ungar 3/11/20 (from Gratefulness.org – Living Gratefully in the Time of Coronavirus
A Blessing to unite Aotearoa New Zealand
We encourage you to pray this as a family/whānau.
Reader: We turn to the NORTH, to the natural beauty of the Piha, Waitamata and the Northern regions, for a blessing…..
Spirit of Peace, make us whole, make us holy, help us to love You and one another with our whole heart, our whole mind, our whole soul… we pray:
ALL: Empower us Spirit of Peace
Reader: We turn to the EAST, to the place of the rising sun and the rich fields of the Waikato to the earth rich in nourishment, for a blessing…
Spirit of Integrity, give us Your strength and the courage to endure, we pray:
ALL: Spirit of Integrity Empower us
Reader: We turn to the SOUTH; to the vineyards, the ocean rich in fish, for a blessing…
Spirit of Illumination, open our eyes to the sacredness of every living thing, we pray:
ALL: Spirit of Illumination Empower us
Reader: We turn to the WEST; to the Tasman Sea, to the setting sun, for a blessing…
Spirit of Transformation, help us to grow in the wisdom and grace and the goodness of the ages, we pray:
ALL: Spirit of transformation Empower us
Reader: We look to the HEAVENS for a blessing
Spirit of Openness, fill us with the wideness of Your mercy that lovingly embraces all, we pray…..
ALL: Spirit of Openness Empower us
Reader: We touch the EARTH for a blessing…
Spirit Incarnate, among us and within us: help us to be more human and to praise You through the work of our hands, we pray…
ALL: Spirit Incarnate empower us
All: Let us be blessed and renewed in
the Spirit of Peace
the Spirit of Integrity
the Spirit of Illumination
the Spirit of Transformation
with hopes lifted heavenward
with hearts loving the Earth
as people in communion, nurture us loving God as we nurture those in our care.