The question, as of late, has been more me to my boss, “How are you doing?” Yesterday, she beat me to the punch.
I was quiet during our Good Friday walk-through, which is unusual for me. I certainly have opinions about liturgy, but I feel it unnecessary to offer them in the current climate. (My one reminder about no “Lamb of God” was run over by clergy who, affectionately, struggle to get off liturgical autopilot.)
The emphasis in my diocese has been on spiritual Communion. One of our clergy was criticized by parishioners when he neglected to offer the prayer given to us by the archbishop. Other criticisms continue to be offered as various things are omitted or forgotten in the current climate of surreality.
That aside, I did wonder aloud why we (and presumably other dioceses) were still having a Communion service on Good Friday. It’s not a new development in church history. Nobody but the priest-presider and deacon are receiving. People at home are just watching, and making a spiritual communion anyway.
Sit in the purple chair. (It’s been sanitized.) Would you bother with a Communion service on Good Friday 2020, or would the readings, intercessions, and reflection on the Cross been enough?
Probably because ritual by nature is not a photo but a movie, not a drop but a river; rituals presume relation to the past and the future. The the liturgy of this Good Friday, rooted in the one Paschal Mystery by anamnesis/zikkaron, exists in relation those that preceded it and those that follow it. The more the ritual is strained by particular circumstance, the greater the impulse to re-center. Were Catholics an a-liturgical people, it might be different, but we’re not such a people.