Bye Bye EEC@Home, I Will Miss You! (But Not Too Much😊)
As the pandemic hit in early 2020, Emmanuel like many churches scrambled to adapt Sunday morning worship. Having not lived through an actual plague before and naively thinking it would be just a few weeks — or maybe at the most a few months — of disruption, I invented EEC@Home, a portable Morning Prayer service you could do on your own anywhere, anytime. It was old school and not very high tech, just a Constant Contact email with the liturgy and links to the lectionary, a homily (posted here on Emmanuel Voices!) along with resources for families and kids, and music.
A state of the art streaming system is soon about to go live at Emmanuel. Alleluia!! If all goes according to plan by the coming high holy days, you will be able to click in live and not miss a hymn or a homily any Sunday. Details will be forthcoming soon. Stay tuned!
So, at year end EEC@Home Morning Prayer will happily retire. It has done its job and it’s time to move on but I do confess that I will miss it. At least a little bit.
Why on earth why?
Live worship at every level possible is immensely preferable, of course. Liturgy is the work of the people after all, real people in real pews. We have an incarnate faith. We worship a God who literally shows up in person. As Michael Gerson has beautifully said, “Our faith has a face.” Live music sung by human voices with the organ vibrating and resonating under your feet — nothing is better than that. Really nothing.
Once EEC@Home is retired, as the parish liturgist, I will still be doing just about all the same things: leveraging the lectionary, crafting prayers, stretching the rubrics of the BCP, but selfishly what I will miss most is my weekly dive into the world of music, going down rabbit holes on Youtube to choose the four electronically linked hymns for each Sunday.
When I first did this in March of 2020, I knew nothing. I am by no means musically trained and I have enormous gratitude and respect for the professionals (thank you, Ryan!) I knew only the little I did from my Episcopal Corner of the Kingdom: the 1982 Hymnal, Wonder, Love & Praise, Lift Every Voice and Sing. The first few weeks I stumbled upon Audrey Assad and Fernando Ortega, and in the nearly 150 weeks since I have stumbled upon quite a few more. It has been a labor of love that has really expanded my appreciation for all kinds of sacred music.
I subscribe to 180 musicians’ Youtube channels, haha!! Let me introduce you to a few — well, maybe more than a few — of my favorite finds. In no particular order:
- Audrey Assad, Ubi Caritas
- Fernando Ortega, O Sacred Head Now Wounded
- Carrie Newcomer, Holy as the Day is Spent
- Hayde Bluegrass Orchestra, Wayfaring Stranger
- The Piano Guys, Angels from the Realms of Glory
- The Brilliance, See the Love
- Porter’s Gate, Christ Has No Body But Yours
- Birdtalker, Heavy
- Anna Hawkins, Come, O Come Emmanuel
- Cantus, There is a Meeting Here Tonight
- The King’s Singers, Down to the River to Pray
- Shenandoah Christian Music Camp, Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning
- Acapeldridge, It Is Well With My Soul
- All Sons & Daughters, All Creatures of Our God and King
- Elenyi, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
- The Spirituals Choir, Wade in the Water
- Church Folk Project, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
So, goodbye good friend, job well done. Though EEC@Home will be no more, the music I discovered along the way is a gift that will keep on giving. Click, listen, and enjoy!
Spirituality The Episcopal Church Clergy Covid-19 Music The Rev. Joan L. Peacock Worship
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The Rev. Joani Peacock, Editor for Emmanuel Voices: A Parish Blog
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