I recently heard the term ‘Coronatide’ as the time now we find ourselves doing ministry. It is a reference to a liturgical neologism for this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Personally, I found it helpful as a closet liturgist to help me think through the practices and implications of pastoral work to staff and students at this time when we are separated through isolation. As an Anglican we have an incredible richness in our liturgy and our practice to draw upon, formed over thousands of years, through all kinds of calamities, it has the power to continually call us back and draw us into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Unfortunately Liturgy is often thought of as the mundane ritual carried out in Churches, but that is because it has been misunderstood. When in the midst of good liturgy, you will find other distractions can become diminished. It was this thought I began to get the some of my classes online to work out the patterns of their day.
Liturgy original meaning was related to a public office or a duty performed voluntarily, it is done for the community, or to bring a community together. For some of my classes getting them to write down what they do each day, even the little things, and do it for a few days meant they were creating an awareness of their activities and their time. When we then reflected on where they spent the most time, we were able to question what is important to them through their behaviours. Here we found ourselves sharing life in community. I then asked them what did they want to do, be? What their goals are? And if they are different, how should they seek to order their life. At this point I found an abundance of sporting examples available on YouTube. This itself engaged many students due to the deficit of current sporting media.
The next step was The challenge stage. I wanted to see how they saw the pattern of life or ‘liturgy’ of this time. The students were encouraged to engage with how this might look. So from powerpoint to tic tok students have sought to express who they are at this time and in this space as they share with each other as the Hutchins community in the season of Coronatide.