Mysterion in the time of Coronavirus

We hope everyone reading this is well, and is staying safe during this unsettling time.

This is not how we imagined we would spend Palm Sunday, inside our home, watching church through YouTube streaming. We expected we would be in church today (as we write this, a day before you read it), waving palm fronds and singing with our neighbors. We expected we would be in church again, on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, for the most solemn services of the Christian calendar, the beginning of a gloomy weekend that ends with a glorious celebration of the resurrection on Easter.

The services will still happen. Only now they will be in an empty sanctuary, performed by the absolute minimum number of people required to make them happen. There will be no orchestra on Easter, no celebratory refreshments afterward. We will watch them stream on YouTube, and take part as well as we can at home, but the corporate part, as a body of believers sharing in liturgy, song, and food, will be absent.

In many ways, this is truer to the historical facts of the event than the normal services are. In the Bible, once the crowds fell away, Jesus and the disciples were a small group, slowly whittled away by betrayal and denial, fewer and fewer willing to be associated with the failed Messiah, until he was buried in the tomb, alone. Only slowly were they gathered back together, first the women, then Peter, then the Apostles (first without then with Thomas), and finally larger groups of disciples.  We suspect that we will follow a similar pattern, as this crisis ends and we begin gathering together again. It will start smaller at first, in intimate groups of twos or threes, then in small groups of friends, before we finally come together in crowds and full religious services once more.

If any of you reading this are looking for Holy Week or Easter services to watch online, here's the link to our church's offerings: The 11:00 am service on Easter is traditional, with familiar hymns, choral arrangements and organ accompaniment; the 4:00 pm service has more contemporary music.

Meanwhile, life goes on. Donald continues to work at his job, but from home. Kristin has worked from home for years, though she's finding that there are more people wanting to talk to her over phone and video than usual, so she's having trouble getting any of her own work done. We continue to edit and publish stories, and we continue reading the January submissions, though we've fallen behind with the disruption to our normal routine. So far we're safe and relatively comfortable, and trying to help friends and family who are less so.

We are planning to publish on our usual schedule. This month we'll be publishing "God-Eaters" by Joshua M. Young, on April 27th. Patreon supporters of $3 per month or more can read it now!

Speaking of Patreon, we recently dipped below the $200/month level. Fortunately, thanks to some generous new supporters, we're back above that level, which means that we'll be able to keep posting four pieces of cover art each year. But we're always looking for more supporters, and even $1 supporters will get access to our Discord server and Insider posts. (In our next Insider post, Kristin will share advice on grocery shopping during the coronavirus pandemic.) At higher levels, you'll get early access to the stories ($3), the ebook of both the new and old anthologies ($5), bimonthly e-zines in epub, mobi, and pdf formats ($10), and even the paperbacks ($25). And, if we reach at least 25 Patreon supporters, they'll be able to read Kristin's pandemic ghost story from the Spring 2019 issue of The Colored Lens (but we'll understand if they'd rather wait until this is all over to actually read it).

Thank you to everyone who's supporting us, either through financial support on Patreon, by telling friends about our magazine, or simply by reading what we publish. We hope you all stay safe and well.

Want to get all those great things we talked about in this post? Support Mysterion on Patreon!