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Bishop's Note - “Spiritual Communion”

Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Diocese of San Joaquin, 

I hope and pray that you are all doing well, looking after yourselves, your families, friends, and neighbors and following the directions of the civil authorities. 

Today is Maundy Thursday and I am acutely aware that on this holy day in which we are reminded of Jesus’ institution of the sacrament of Holy Communion that most of you are, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, prohibited from receiving holy communion – what an irony.

While this current crisis may be a surprise to us it is no surprise to our Lord. This is only one in a long line of crises throughout history that have formed a barrier between the people of God being able to receive the body and blood of Christ.  The Church, long ago, responded to this crisis by developing the practice of Spiritual Communion.  Today this humble and profound prayer can be found on page 677 of the 2019 Book of Common Prayer. 

While this practice has existed for centuries the 19th Century French priest Jean-Marie Vianney captured the essence of spiritual communion by saying, 

“If we are deprived of Sacramental Communion, let us replace it, as far as we can, by spiritual communion, which we can make every moment; for we ought to have always a burning desire to receive the good God. Communion is to the soul like blowing a fire that is beginning to go out, but that has still plenty of hot embers; we blow, and the fire burns again.”

Today as you participate in the Maundy Thursday liturgy, however presented, if you are prevented from physically receiving the sacrament I invite you to kneel before the Lord and in your minds eye to picture yourself with our Lord and the disciples in that Upper Room and utter this prayer.

“Dear Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I desire to possess you within my soul. And since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to you, together with all your faithful people [gathered around every altar of your Church], and I embrace you with all the affections of my soul. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen”

I pray you all a truly blessed Holy Week in which you are healthy and safe, filled with Grace and able to share God’s light and love in a dark and frightened world. 

Bishop Menees
San Joaquin Anglican
Calendar
April Diocesan Events canceled

​April 5
Palm Sunday

April 9
Maundy Thursday (Office Closed at Noon)
Online Service at Noon on the front page (https://www.dioceseofsanjoaquin.net/)

April 10
Good Friday (Office Closed)
Online Service at Noon on the front page (https://www.dioceseofsanjoaquin.net/)

April 12
Easter Sunday

April 19
Bishop @ St. James, Lindsay

May 21
Ascension

May 31
Pentecost​






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Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin · 1300 East Shaw Avenue #123 · Fresno, CA 93710 · USA

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