Sunday, May 25, 2014

Livestreaming Worship

Sunday mornings I find a church. I confess that for a few years in college and even in seminary my biological clock had me waking late on weekends and sometimes I missed service... but in my adult years, I have found I just don't feel good not being in worship on Sundays.

Because I'm a working pastor, most of the time this means leading worship. But on those Sundays when we are traveling, I always look for a good local option. This has, over the years, included Roman Catholic Mass, Orthodox Divine Service, Pentecostal Praise, mountain-top worship near the ski lift, campfire worship at the state park, Moravian and Methodist and more.

This morning, it means live streaming worship through the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Right now the priests are chanting Orthros, the service before the service. For full transparency, I am also live-blogging live-streaming worship.

Let's say you are at a weekend sports tournament and can't find a worship service that matches your schedule. Or you're stuck at home because the car broke down. Or you aren't well and can't leave home. Or for whatever reason, you desire to worship but can't make it to a house of worship. Increasingly there are resources available beyond television broadcast and radio worship to participate in the worship of local congregations.

For the sake of this post, I'm simply not going to debate the merits of on-line worship vs. worshipping in a church. Of course we can all worship at home on our own. Get two people together and sing some hymns and pray. Christ is in the midst of that also. Read the Scripture, break some bread and promise Christ and forgiveness to each other. That's worship also.

If, however, like me you're curious, or simply wish to be part of worship prepared by others, live streaming worship can be a good option.

Below, I've created a of some of the best resources I've discovered for worshipping on-line. I've added some livestream sites. I've also added some study resources that can help anyone prepare for Christian worship, like lectionary commentary sites. And I've linked to a couple of podcasts that focus especially on sermons. Even if you can't time your morning to watch a livestream, you might be able to assemble pastiche worship experience throughout the day--read the lessons upon waking, pray some prayers mid-day, listen to a sermon podcast on your run, share a meal with others in the evening.

I'd very much appreciate you adding to the, and voting on your favorite resources. Together we can help each other discover on-line worship. And if you like the resources a specific congregation creates, would you consider donating to that ministry? Churches can't do this for free. Watching the beauty of Orthodox worship this morning, I loved the beauty of the icons, the lovely chant of the choir, and could almost smell the incense. That congregation deserves some support from those who watch or listen. It's part of worship. It's the offering.

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