An Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 4/3/21

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Dear Members and Friends of St. James,

I am near bursting with such joy, even in this pandemic, which refuses to let go of its hold on us, as I report to you the joy and privilege that were all mine, to be invited to break the fast of 14 months of distant worship. Our numbers were indeed small, but under the rubric of ‘where two or three are gathered together’—and our numbers exceeded three—I was able to celebrate the mysteries of our faith and to share in the Blessed Sacrament. To hear the familiar words of liturgy and the readings from Holy Writ, brought to us assembled a notion of what it might have been like when those early Christians met as House Church. Which brings me to two further thoughts:

  • Pastoral visitations during Eastertide: given the status of my own vaccination and following guidelines set by our Bishop diocesan, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the City of Somerville, should you desire, I am permitted to observe with you in small numbers the Mystery of Easter. You may contact me via the usual means: telephone or email.
  • In-person communal worship: I shall be speaking with our wardens regarding outdoor celebration of the Eucharist in our courtyard on Clarendon Avenue, upon petition to the regathering committee that our Bishop diocesan has tasked with assisting congregation in that effort. All mandated guidelines of the City of Somerville will, of course, be observed. But ah! New England weather will also play a major factor in this move forward.

I bid you not to forsake to pray for those who are ill, for those who tend them, and for those who, employing the intelligence and curiosity given them by our Creator, seek remedies for those ailments and diseases that affect our common life.

Let us give thanks on this Day of the Resurrection:
Almighty God, who through your only begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life; Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, now and for ever. Amen.

For us and all humankind, I pray in Eastertide as the Letter to the Hebrews has taught us:
The God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the eternal covenant make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, and may the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with you and those whom you love this day and for evermore.

Priest-in-charge and your fellow sojourner in The Way