Last year on Good Friday, Trinity Church, Wall Street, brought the world the Passion via Twitter.
This year, Trinity is bringing its Maundy Thursday watch before the Blessed Sacrament to the world via the web. “The vigil lasts through the night, beginning at 8pm on Maundy Thursday and ending at noon on Good Friday. This year, Trinity Wall Street invites the online community to keep the vigil through a special all-night webcast.” People are invited to sign-up for their hour’s slot of virtual vigil.
This is a fascinating new development in the liturgical use of technology, one that I don’t think it will become another excuse for people to stay away. In fact, I suspect it will have the opposite effect: it will open avenues to community and participation for the homebound, for those estranged from the church, and for those for whom the Maundy Thursday watch may be a new experience, to which they are unready to commit in “real-time.”
“Each hour of the vigil begins with a prayer and response. Those present are asked to contemplate and give thanks for the presence of the Lord Jesus in our lives, his presence in the Bread and Wine of the Eucharist, and his act of redemption through his crucifixion and resurrection.”
BTW, Trinity isn’t the first Christian community to use internet technology for online adoration — as a quick Google search can confirm. They are, to my knowledge, the first Anglican or Episcopal community to capitalize on the technology in this way, and the first to carry the Maundy Thursday watch on-line.