Many feel blessed during bible reading

A map of Canada outlining the Anglican diocesan borders
 on May 30, 2024

HIGH PRAIRIE – A Holy Week tradition that started in a High Prairie, Alberta church about 20 years ago was celebrated online for the fourth year. People around the world joined the Holy Week Bible Reading Marathon from Palm Sunday, March 24, to Maundy Thursday, March 28.

Readers were invited to read the bible aloud in one-hour blocks on Zoom and Facebook in the 100-hour marathon organized by the Diocese of Athabasca.

People were moved as they took part in and viewed the marathon online, says the Rev. Peter Clarke of St. Mark Anglican Church in High Prairie, which organized and initiated the event. “After people had read for their hour, we received a lot of kind messages detailing how much they enjoyed the experience – many said they felt blessed,” he says. “We had people from all across Canada and from other countries.”

One of the special readers was the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby. Archbishop Linda Nicholls, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, also read. Bishop David Greenwood of the Diocese of Athabasca read in the first and last hour.

Readers represented a variety of churches and read from various translations of the bible, says Mr. Clarke. “One person reading from Germany chose to read the bible in Flemish. Another person read in Shona, the language of Zimbabwe. Somebody from the Philippines read from the Ilocano translation of the bible, plus others read in four different dialects of that country.”

He says the readings inspired him. “Personally, I find it wonderful how I can listen to somebody read the bible in another language and follow it in my own bible. Last year, a person in Mozambique read in Portuguese and – surprisingly – I could follow all the way to the end of the chapter.”

Mr. Clarke initiated the marathon when St. Mark’s opened its doors to people from other local churches and the community to read scripture. After the event was cancelled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was resurrected in 2021 and expanded online around the world. It will return next year.

South Peace News


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