Until the day when Holy Mass and other public worship can be celebrated in our parishes, we are thankful that many churches are now opening for private, individual prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle. With physical-distancing and Health, Safety and Safeguarding restrictions needing to be in place at this time, many people may still be unable to visit the churches they love.
As well as spending time in the Real Presence of Christ, our churches hold many memories: of the Sacraments we have received there; of candles lit for family, friends and priests no longer with us; and for the many prayers and intercessions we have made over the years whilst meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary or using as a focus for our prayer, the Stations of the Cross, statues and stained glass images which in many cases we have known since childhood. Not only do they beautify God’s House, but they can be like old friends whom we miss at this time
At St Joseph’s Parish in Bilton, near Harrogate, Fr Stephen Webb has taken photographs of the statues of Our Lady of the Rosary, St Joseph, St Anthony and of the Sacred Heart (whose Feast it is today) and placed them on the parish website to remind people of these familiar friends – human, artistic and Divine – waiting to welcome them when all restrictions are fully lifted.
If you are able to visit your own parish church – or have kindly volunteered to be a steward there – please try (if you can do so safely and without disturbing others) to take just one photograph of a favourite and familiar image, and together with the name of the church and any prayer intention, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
As with Window on the Word, we’ll make a gallery on this website so that any of your fellow-parishioners who are unable to visit a church for any reason, can be reminded of their Spiritual Home. Where the Sacred Art is, is also where the Sacred Heart is…
All your intentions will be prayed for, even though for GDPR reasons we can’t publish full names of living people – but in development and COMING VERY SOON will be ways in which you can Light a Virtual Votive Candle for your prayer intentions, too… Watch this website for more details…!
When photographing stained glass, it’s often better to stick to details rather than risk ‘burning out’ the image: who can guess at which Saint’s feet this little creature is sitting – and in which church in our diocese?