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The communications team at the Anglican Communion Office are coordinating a #GlobalSonRise social media campaign to help churches proclaim the good news of the resurrection. Anglicans around the world are being asked to post video or text messages on Twitter at 5am in their local time, to announce that “Christ is Risen”.
The Director of Communications for the Anglican Communion, Gavin Drake, commented: “In English, the words ‘sun’ and ‘son’ are homophones, and it has become traditional for churches to host ‘SonRise’ services, usually outdoors, at dawn on Easter morning.
“As with many other forms of public worship, the traditional SonRise services can’t take place this year in many parts of the world, because of the restrictions on movement designed to curb the spread of the Coronavirus Covid-19. While primarily an act of worship, they are also a public affirmation and proclamation of the risen Christ.
“News bulletins will rightly tell the story of closed church buildings and cancelled services. But we want another message to get out: the message that Christ is Risen. This is so central to our faith it is important that this message doesn’t get lost amidst the reports of locked and empty churches.”
The communications team have suggested a simple script based on the Easter affirmation: “Christ is Risen – He is Risen Indeed”, a brief Easter greeting, and concluding with the message that “Jesus is Alive”.
Gavin Drake said: “It would be great if, on Easter Sunday, there are #GobalSonRise messages on Twitter across the world at 5 am in every time zone. It would offer a glimpse of hope amidst the fear and despair caused by Covid-19 and the restrictions which we now find ourselves living under”.
Restrictions imposed by the UK government means that the Anglican Communion Office in London is currently closed. But staff are continuing to serve the Communion and are carrying out their work from their homes. The Anglican Alliance has produced a Covid-19 resource hub, drawing on expertise from across the Anglican Communion; and the communications have produced video acts of worship.
The first one, for Passion Sunday, was led by Neil Vigers, from the Anglican Communion’s department for Unity, Faith and Order; and the second, for Palm Sunday, was led by Canon Stephen Spencer, Director for Theological Education in the Anglican Communion. Preparations are already underway for a service for Easter Sunday. This will be led by the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon. The services are led in English, with Bible readings in a different languages from across the Anglican Communion. They will continue each week during the Covid-19 lockdown and can be found at www.anglicancommunion.org/worship.