Participate in Worship Online
Liturgy and Music
Sermons from the Bishop's Online Chapel
Click to access the current list of online worship opportunities throughout the Diocese of Virginia.
Share information about your worship services here.
If you’re looking to interact with folks in your congregation consider the facility of each platform. Facebook and Zoom are available through internet browsers and as apps so they can be used on computers, tablets and mobile phones. Check out these tips and tricks for live streaming cheaply and effectively. Need more help? The office of Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary has regularly-scheduled open office hours on Thursdays from 1:15-2:45 p.m. Additional office hours have been added for Tuesdays from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and Fridays from 12-1 p.m.
You can stream conversation or a meeting using Facebook Live on your personal or church Facebook page. You can "go live" at any time or you can schedule a time to go live so that you alert your followers. Interaction with participants can only be through their comments. Facebook Live events are kept in your Facebook feed afterwards. This guide has step-by-step instructions with pictures to guide you through the process. These additional tips are also available.
- Invite parishioners to host a watch party: Facebook has a feature where people can host a “watch party” and virtually attend/watch an event together. Encouraging parishioners to host their own watch parties can expand your church’s reach beyond just those who like your church – all the friends of those who host a watch party will get the chance to join in worship. People are often amazed at who joins in a watch party – it’s a virtual way of inviting your neighbors to church!
- Invite people to like your Facebook page: There are two main ways to invite people to like your church's Facebook Page: you can invite a friend or invite someone who has reacted to one of your page's post. When you see someone new has "liked" one of your church's posts, you can invite them to like your page and stay connected to your church's virtual community.
- Facebook resources for faith communities: Facebook has gathered resources that are specifically helpful for bringing together faith communities during this time of physical distancing. The list includes pointers on staying in touch with your community, building community through Facebook Groups, and using Facebook fundraisers to raise support for your church.
Zoom is a conferencing platform. The basic version is free and hosts up to 100 participants for up to 40 minutes at a time. If you choose, you can interact with participants using Zoom through video, voice and chat. You can also record your Zoom call and send the recording out to others at a later time. Zoom has free trainings to learn how to use and optimize its platform.
- Remember to model safeguarding practices: This checklist includes 11 tips for safe ZOOM gatherings. Also from VTS eFormation, check out this 4 minute video: Safe Church and Online Spaces: a few guidelines!
- Going Virtual with God: In addition to pointers about working with Zoom, this video and slide deck from Mark Seip at St. Andrew’s, Arlington, also gives great tips about : picking a location, getting good film quality, getting the word out to parishioners, online service bulletins and more.
- Connecting Zoom to Facebook Live: If your church is hosting worship on Zoom, you can connect that Zoom service to Facebook Live, making worship more accessible to those who want to worship with you. The Rev. Stacy Williams-Duncan, Rector of Little Fork, Rixeyville, walks you through this process in this video tutorial.
- Curated Zoom resource page: This document gives links to information on zoom basics, types of accounts, equipment considerations and much more.
- How to use a virtual background: Step-by-step instructions on how to set a photo of your church as your virtual background, from the Rev. Canon Mary Thorpe.
How to Count Online Services for Parochial Reports
- Liturgical guidance from the Rev. Dr. James W. Farwell.
- 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: One License has additional licensing available for podcasts/streaming, which is required for live streaming and pre-recorded online worship including copyrighted music.
- 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.
- Compline Slideshows: This slideshow template from St. Andrew's, Arlington, and this slideshow from Sierra Gore, diocesan Christian Formation & Camping Ministry Assistant, are both shared during Zoom Compline services. You can use these as-is, or download to personalize.
- Prayer Graphic Workbook
The Bishop's Online Chapel provides weekly sermons specific to each Sunday that clergy can use to incorporate into their online services. They are available as video, audio-only and text. To access the sermons in a variety of formats, click here.
Here is the schedule of preachers:
|9/13/2020||15th Sunday after Pentecost||Dr. Sandra Montes, Episcopal Church Foundation and Union Theological Seminary/EDS, New York, in Spanish and English|
|9/20/2020||16th Sunday after Pentecost||The Rev. Sean Cavanaugh, Chaplain, St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School, Alexandria|
|9/27/2020||17th Sunday after Pentecost||The Rev. Dr. Mary Brennan Thorpe, Canon to the Ordinary|
|10/4/2020||18th Sunday after Pentecost||TBD|
|10/11/2020||19th Sunday after Pentecost||The Rev. Sean Cavanaugh, Chaplain, St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School, Alexandria|
|10/18/2020||20th Sunday after Pentecost||TBD|
|10/25/2020||21st Sunday after Pentecost||TBD|
|11/1/2020||All Saints||The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff, Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority|
|11/8/2020||23rd Sunday after Pentecost||The Rt. Rev. Porter Taylor, Assisting Bishop|
|11/15/2020||24th Sunday after Pentecost||The Rev. Dr. Mary Brennan Thorpe, Canon to the Ordinary|
|11/22/2020||Last Sunday after Pentecost: Christ the King||The Rev. Deacon David Curtis, Archdeacon, St. John's, Richmond|
|11/29/2020||First Sunday of Advent||TBD|
|12/6/2020||Second Sunday of Advent||The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff, Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority|
|12/13/2020||Third Sunday of Advent||TBD|
|12/20/2020||Fourth Sunday of Advent||TBD|
|12/27/2020||First Sunday after Christmas||TBD|
We will continue to provide sermon relief through the end of the calendar year. The schedule of upcoming preachers will be updated here as it is decided.
- Sermons That Work is a ministry of the Episcopal Church’s Office of Communication which provides free sermons, Bible studies, bulletin inserts and other resources that speak to congregations across the Church.
- Freeconferencecall.com: Sign up for a free account and receive a number that is available 24/7.
- EZ Texting: Get information out quickly to a large group with this text-version of the classic phone tree.
- Low and High tech options for virtual worship