The candles on the altar are lit, and I have taken my seat next to my wife as I wait for the service to start.
It might sound like any other Sunday morning, but I am not sitting in a pew: our family has gathered in the living room for our own liturgy. The makeshift altar is a table furnished with Andrei Rublev’s icon of the trinity and the San Damiano crucifix of the risen Christ.
With Masses suspended across Europe due to Covid-19 we are holding our church service at home. Our two eldest children Joseph, 10, and Martha, 7, lead the celebration. On a normal Sunday morning it’s a battle to get them out of the front door and to Mass on time. Like most other parents we have to chivvy the children along and encourage them to participate in the liturgy.
The novelty of having the liturgy in the living room is it spurs my children into action. Joseph and Martha argue over who is going to be the “high priest” and Joseph – on the grounds of being the eldest rather than theology – gets his way. But Martha processes in behind him as they enter the room singing “alleluia”.
Our service is part-liturgy, part “playing Mass”, something which the children love.
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With thanks to The Tablet at Christopher Lamb, where this article originally appeared.