Episcopal Diocese of Washington

To draw people to Jesus and embody his love
for the world by equipping faith communities,
promoting spiritual growth, and striving for justice

Worship and Pastoral Care for the Virtual Congregation

Will worship services or special services be conducted during this period?

Out of an abundance of caution and in a desire to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Bishop Mariann has directed all parish-based in person activities be cancelled or moved to an on-line platform during this period.

The Cathedral will continue to offer livestream worship throughout Lent, Holy Week and Easter. See the Cathedral's website for details. 

We encourage clergy and lay leaders to experiment with conducting services, prayer groups, or study sessions online.. Video broadcast can also be saved for later access, for those who could not join at the time. When a live session is not possible , use the time to create online content that can be accessed anytime. Presentation programs such as PowerPoint, Keynote and Prezi can export video clips to which you can add audio. This is an engaging way to invite parishioners into guided prayers with responsive readings; Here’s a link to resources available to assist those who wish to explore online options. For assistance, please contact Peter Turner or Todd Thomas on the diocesan staff. 


How to Count Online Services and Attendance for Parochial Reports

Message from Canon Michael Barlowe, Executive Officer of the Episcopal Church General Convention 


Liturgy and Music

  • Triduum Liturgical Planning from VTS. A two-part webinar. VTS's Lisa Kimball and Jim Farwell give guidance and models for Holy Week and Easter through YouTube videos and a Google Drive packed full of useful materials for parishes of all sizes and resources. Watch Part OnePart Two.  
  • Prayer for Spiritual Communion (available in English and Spanish): During the Eucharist service at the National Cathedral on March 15, people worshipping from home prayed this prayer written by St. Alphonsus de Liguori.
  • One License Gratis Licenses: One License is providing two different gratis license options for those reprinting or streaming music during this time of modified worship services. These licenses are valid through April 15.
  • Public Domain Hymn List: All of the hymns on this site are believed to be in the public domain, carry the Creative Commons type 3 or type 4 copyright, or have a conditional copyright that allows for free reproduction and use.


What about pastoral visits?

This is an important time for us to care for our people, but for everyone's well-being, clergy must use the utmost caution in deciding whether to make an in-person pastoral visit. In most situations, use telephone calls, Facetime chats, or  other online platforms to offer pastoral care. 

The bishop understands that in extreme circumstances, clergy simply must go to be physically present with persons in need. Please consult with her directly before making your visit. Pastoral care guidance: