I had a post started and the finishing of it was (is still) in mind but then our Government wisely analysed some new Covid transmission in our community and imposed, for a minimum of three days, a return to higher Levels, Auckland from 1 to 3 and the rest of us from 1 to 2.
In any other week of the year this might have been a non-event re episcopal life, but this week the three days includes Ash Wednesday and thus advice to the Diocese has had to be given.
So yesterday's potential blogging time got squeezed out with all the bits and bobs of discussion about what to say and what - in particular - to do about our Ecumenical Service tomorrow evening in the Transitional Cathedral.
All sorted ... now. But no post in the usual way.
For those interested the Ecumenical Service will be livestreamed and the details (along with other advice, should you be interested, about Ash Wednesday in Level 2) are as follows:
"This minimum period in Level 2 includes all of Ash Wednesday and thus affects services on Ash Wednesday. Earlier today I gave this directive to our Vicars/Priests-in-Charge/Chaplains:There is to be no Ashing at Ash Wednesday services.
Ash Wednesday services may be held (providing they comply with Level 2 Guidelines for our services and other gatherings) but they are not to include the act of Ashing people’s foreheads.
I recommend as an alternative the following action at the point in the service where Ashing would take place (with suitably adapted words being said): pause, silence, each member of the congregation using their own thumb and signing their own foreheads with a cross.
Yes, that means we do not have the witness of Ash on our foreheads as we depart from the service, but collectively, through a Lenten fast from Ashing, we are witnessing to NZ that we are taking our responsibilities in Level 2 seriously and solemnly.
Ecumenical Service at the Transitional Cathedral
5.30 pm Wednesday 17 February 2021: this is now a Livestream Service.We do not want to have to turn the 101st person away so Archbishop Paul and myself have agreed that we will ask everyone to stay home and share in this service via Livestreaming.
The only people present will be participants in the service. If you are not a participant, then please stay home and watch the service via Livestream from the Transitional Cathedral Facebook page or YouTube page (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX1CvdiQsCUKka5bjH2ZHxA )."