A remarkable and utterly 21st century experience from Concord Pastor Fr. Austin Fleming:
Yesterday afternoon I was called by a hospice chaplain at a local nursing home to come and administer the Anointing of the Sick to a dying resident. I found “Maria” in the company of her three daughters and a son-in-law. Maria is young and has only been sick since mid-summer and has rapidly declined in the last 24 hours.
I had noticed a laptop at the foot of Maria’s bed but hadn’t paid it much attention. When I invited all present to pray, one of the daughters asked to introduce me to Maria’s sister and brother-in-law who were with us on Skype from South America. Maria’s relatives below the equator don’t speak English but they knew what we were about to do, what sacrament we were celebrating.
So we prayed together, this small cyber church gathered on the “digital continent.”
This was the first time I’ve celebrated a sacrament with some in attendance online. Maria was quietly unresponsive but perhaps she heard the soft chorus of tears, from two parts of the world, the background for Psalm 23 and the prayers for the sacrament.