Due to the current restrictions on worship services, many congregations across the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI), and other denominations, are preparing for a very different way to worship this Sunday. Creatively using live-streaming and pre-recorded messages via websites and social media platforms.
PCI’s Moderator, Rt Rev Dr William Henry, has welcomed these initiatives, and will also begin a series of Sunday worship services for the wider Presbyterian family that will be available on the PCI website.
Dr Henry’s pre-recorded service, which will last around 45 minutes, will follow closely a usual Sunday worship service and will include a children’s talk and song, prayers, three hymns and Dr Henry’s sermon. The only element that will be missing will be the offering.
Dr Henry has posted a short message to the Church ahead of Sunday’s virtual service. You can watch below.
In it, the Moderator said that we were living in exceptional days, “While you are not able to meet in that place that has been so familiar to you, that place where God has drawn alongside you, I know that many congregations will be live-streaming their service of worship this weekend.
“However, if your own church isn’t, we want you to be able to connect with what our own denomination will be putting on the PCI website. I want to encourage you to check in over the next few months and as Moderator, I want to take a lead in bringing our people together, just to have a sense of who we are as a Presbyterian family. I want to remind you that our worship is not cancelled…”
The service, which was pre-recorded in Dr Henry’s own church, Maze Presbyterian near Lisburn, will involve the following hymns: ‘King of love my shepherd is’, ‘Leaning on the everlasting arms’ and ‘All my ways are known to you’. For the children, there will be the familiar song (with actions) ‘Our God is a great big God’. The theme of his children’s talk will be about the things that we do not understand. His main talk will focus on the Book of Habakkuk, and how this particular prophet struggled when there were no easy answers.
Dr Henry ended his short message with part of Psalm 23, ‘The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.’