The band iv24 is creating spiritual communion during the COVID-19 crisis by hosting virtual prayer and worship sessions on Facebook every Friday night. From left are Desiree D’Cunha, Whitney D’Cunha and Rudy D’Souza. Photo courtesy iv24

Good news still flows with group’s live-stream

By  Quinton Amundson, Catholic Register Special
  • April 9, 2020

In the early 1980s, Canadian music icon Anne Murray released her classic country song, “A Little Good News,” in response to suffering she witnessed in society. 

Almost 40 years later, that ballad speaks to our present battle to overcome COVID-19 — “we sure could use a little good news today.” 

Catholic band iv24, based in Mississauga, Ont., is supplying the good news of the Lord every Friday at 5:15 p.m. EST during the coronavirus pandemic with virtual praise and worship sessions. They live-streamed on Facebook for the first time on March 20, and fully intend to keep rocking out each week until society returns to a state of normalcy.  

“The world is staying connected through social media, so there is no better time to start these online live worship sessions,” said guitar player Whitney D’Cunha.

“There is a need to put hope out in the world. We feel called to do it.”

D’Cunha, her sister Desiree D’Cunha (keyboards), and bassist and sound engineer Rudy D’Souza assemble on Friday afternoon in D’Souza’s basement, which has the ideal set up for a virtual performance stage.

Colleagues Nicole D’Mello and Shaun Fernandes, quarantined at home, join the proceedings remotely.

A television screen displaying song lyrics is nestled behind the performers. The band enthusiastically invites viewers at home to sing along and offer a musical prayer of their own.

Iv24 is an ode to John 4:24 — “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The group’s adoration lives up to this creed by offering a deep, intimate musical experience. 

They are attracting a substantial online audience. More than 1,500 viewers visited the debut session and 1,700 tuned in on March 27.

“We have viewers tuning in from the United Arab Emirates, India and the U.S.,” said Whitney. “It is beautiful to see people coming together to worship God.”

The April 3 session opened with an announcement that a prayer team would be monitoring the live chat so viewers could share their COVID-19-related prayer intentions.

“The way it works is if you have any intentions, whether it’s for a loved one, someone who is sick, someone who has lost their job — anything — we’re all in this together,” D’Cunha told the audience.

D’Cunha told The Catholic Register she was particularly excited about being able to incorporate Stations of the Cross into Good Friday praise and worship, “so that people can experience both,” she said.

Iv24’s musical discipleship also includes virtual prayer gatherings once a week and they  are exploring collaborative opportunities with parishes in the Greater Toronto Area.

They joined with Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Mississauga on Palm Sunday by leading a live praise and worship session via the parish Facebook account. 

To participate in iv24’s praise and worship sessions, go to Facebook.com/iv24ca.

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