Online church service for isolated elders

As the world continues to grapple with lockdowns and social distancing forced by the coronavirus, I’ve seen and heard numerous creative ways that people are helping those who are particularly vulnerable to this pandemic. That includes, of course, our dear elders in long-term housing who are isolated from all visitors, including chaplains and other spiritual care providers.

To that end, earlier this week I posted several of my Hymns for Dementia on YouTube. And I’ve just finished uploading my very first video of an entire church worship service, also on YouTube!

To anyone who works in a senior residence: I’m hoping this video will bring comfort and even a small sense of normalcy to the elders in your care, and maybe yourself as well.

Worship service notes

For this first attempt, I kept with the traditional church calendar — so it centers on the fifth Sunday of Lent (March 29).

This nearly one-hour video church service, on the theme of GRACE, includes:

  • Several hymns and lyrics
  • Scripture readings
  • A semi-interactive homily (I suggest having a remote control ready so you can pause the video if desired)
  • A true story about grace
  • Inspirational quotes on grace

This content is covid-free — that is, I don’t talk about the coronavirus at all, other than a veiled reference at the beginning about the newness of having church on video.

It’s designed for elders with dementia, so I speak slowly and use repetition. But I’m hopeful that elders in general will find it comforting in its familiarity.

This is very much an experiment! So please let me know what you think in the comments below or send me a private message. I’m open to any and all suggestions for making these better or more useful to your and your elders’ needs.

Image by Alina Kuptsova from Pixabay

7 thoughts on “Online church service for isolated elders

  1. Pastor Connie Benton-Lucas says:

    I am so excited. I can’t wait to watch it. This is o one of the most helpful tools any Pastor or Hospice Chaplain could have.

    Thank you and God bless you Elisa.

    Pastor Connie


  2. jolenemyoung says:

    Elisa – thank you! this was comfortable and uplifting. This can be used over and over. What a fabulous resource.


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