Fr Leonards Sermons, virtual and viral, for Lent, Holy Week & Easter 2020
The Anglican Church in Greece (Church of England)
The Revd. Canon Leonard Doolan
Karneadou 6, Athens 10675 Greece
Tel (0030) 210 721 4906 August 2020
During the worst weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown thousands of faithful priests and pastors were preparing to preach Sunday by Sunday, or day by day, seeking to keep Christ’s people engaged with the mysteries of the holy season of Lent, Holy Week, and the ‘Great Weeks’ of Easter.
These were challenging days – not yet behind us by any means – for preachers to address the scriptures set for this season, but at the same time to acknowledge the realities of the global pandemic that prevented most, if not all social and human public activity, including worship. Suddenly we had to be creative and make use of different media platforms in our attempts to ‘keep together in isolation’.
In Athens I did my best to wrestle with new technology that took me way beyond my normal comfort zone ‘blending’ the ancient art of preaching with the contemporary possibilities of Zoom. I have to admit that it was not like oil and water, as my initial skepticism might have concluded. The blend of printed copies of sermons sent by email, texts placed on the website, pre-recorded versions emailed out, ‘virtually’ live preaching on Zoom, and then sermons delivered on Zoom and in St. Paul’s church respecting local restrictions, all of these somehow seem to have worked, with considerable appreciation from our congregation and ‘para’ congregation.
I was delightfully encouraged when a couple of people suggested that my sermons prepared over this period should be brought together and published in a small booklet. That initial suggestion, much to my surprise, has come about.
There is no delusion in publishing these sermons, by the way. They are not the best sermons you will ever read, and so much could have been better said, and has been, in the hands of other fine preachers. However, I think the interest lies in the nature of the background of the sermons. Never before have we preached in Lent, Holy Week and Easter with a pandemic raging away, devastating so many lives and disrupting global and local economies; shutting down work patterns and adding to our already existing anxieties in the relationship between humanity and the Creation.
This little booklet of sermons may have some lasting interest simply because in the future someone might be interested to observe how one preacher went about his business during the COVID-19 experience.
To order a copy email: email@example.com Cost €5,00 (all proceeds to St. Paul’s Church) p&p €2.50 within Greece; €5,00 outside Greece.