We will begin praying for birthdays and anniversary celebrations this Sunday, May 17, the 6th Sunday of Easter. It is clear that just as St. Francis is a place where we enjoy being with one another, it is also place where we enjoy celebrating with one another.
Since we no longer have a liturgical half-time, that place between the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, to ask people to come forward, we are going to pray for birthdays and anniversaries in the intercessory prayers after the Collects in Morning Prayer. The plan is to start the process simply and make adjustments from there.
Here is the plan for this week. In our Thursday email, we will ask for those who have birthdays or anniversaries in the upcoming or previous week to submit by email their names and the date of their birthday or anniversary. We will gather those names and add them to the list to be prayed for during the intercessory prayers on Sunday. In addition, we will also invite members of the congregation who have zoomed in (aka joined by videoconference) on Sunday morning to let us know if they have a birthday or anniversary by typing in their name(s) and date(s) in the Chat Box. One of our Sunday morning co-hosts will gather up those names from the chat and submit them to the Officiant to be read at the time noted.
In future weeks, we may find simple ways to note those who for whom our prayers are offered, including spotlighting the person on our screens. But, as we have done for online worship, we figured it was best to get started and figure out the details later.
The adding back of birthday and anniversary prayers should provide us with an increased sense of community at this time, almost a sense of normalcy. And for all those whose birthdays have been missed during the past nine weeks, please feel free to add your names to our listing for May 17.
So, be on the lookout in our weekly email for directions as to how to submit your name or be on the listen up at church on Sunday as to how to make certain that we pray for and recognize birthdays and anniversaries in our community.