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This photo was taken in May 2020, when Melbourne restrictions prevented religious gatherings from taking place. I attend Westgate Baptist Community church in Yarraville in the western suburbs of Melbourne, and it had transitioned to zoom for its church services by this point. On the day this picture was taken, we were meant to organise our own bread and wine for the ritual of communion. It was strange to source these elements on our own and even stranger to just pass them to each other instead of being given them by the pastor. It probably took some sense of gravitas and 'specialness' out of the ritual. At the same time though, it was evident that in a very precarious, unprecedented time, this community was really hanging on to such rituals for some normalcy and comfort in a sense of the divine's presence. We would not be back to in-person services until February 2021.

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This item was submitted on October 30, 2021 by Charlotte Cameron using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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