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Directions for Reopening Services

Beloved Parishioner:

Christ is risen!

By the grace of God, we are going to be opening more public services (Orthros and Liturgy) this Sunday May 24th. With great joy, we anticipate being with those who can come. Our prayers are with those who cannot, and we know the reverse is true.

Resuming public services is one that is met with an array of feelings. Many have been bursting at the seams to come back since our last open Sunday, March 15. Some are at-risk and still need to stay home against their wishes. Some are undecided as to what to do. Whatever the situation, we have all been processing through so many things. The Lord blesses and understands all, who, in earnest, seek to do His holy will.

Let us open our hearts and ask for the Living Water of the Holy Spirit, which "heals all that is infirm and completes all that is lacking." Let the Lord's uniting power transcend all barriers and differences.

Based on the local civil guidelines, the contact we have had with the Metropolis, the written guidelines that have been shared with parishioners by the Metropolis, and with the great help of the task force, I share these items to note:

  • Anyone at risk, not feeling well, or unable for any reason to attend services, please remain at home, and do not hesitate to request a private pastoral visit at church or home to receive Holy Communion or other blessings. The Church prays for those who are absent for good cause. CDC Guidelines regarding who is at risk are linked here.
  • Due to capacity limits (35 parties in the main level and 10 in the choir loft) we will have a Sign Up system to allow parishioners to reserve their spot at the services. Use the Sign up button at top or bottom of this page.
  • Immediate families living in the same household may sit together, however, a distance of at least 6 feet should be maintained between families.
  • Please be prepared to receive direction from signs and from the parish council upon your return.
  • We will continue the webcast including the lighting of candles by the Parish Council.
  • We highly encourage that offerings be done electronically or via a check as opposed to cash. There will now be credit card terminals in the church for your offering. Out of abundance of caution and respect for the safety of our parishioner family, for those who prefer cash, the Parish Council will no longer be providing change.
  • Holy Communion will be received by the clergy and laity as usual. The directives still include that the clergy and those assisting wear masks while distributing communion because of their remaining close to parishioners.
  • We continue to miss altar boys, but only the adult supervisors will be able to serve.
  • We continue to miss the choir. As we wait for further notice, we will continue having one chanter at Orthros and Divine Liturgy.
  • Face masks are welcome.
  • A memorial service may be a simple Trisagion without kollyva, since we are still not handing out anything.
  • Because the Church needs to be cleaned and sanitized after all the services, and we have to preserve the cleaning resources for the eucharistic services, Vespers and Paraklesis continue as online only. The names submitted for the reposed and the living will still be kept and commemorated.
  • All Non-liturgical church meetings and fellowships are still cancelled until further notice. 

Once again, many thanks to the staff, task force, and parish council for their many hours of preparation!

Many thanks to you for your patience, understanding, and prayer! We all understand that Church feels harder with many directions, which, on top of everything, can even change. It will be helpful to us to remember that, in the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, we express trust and thankfulness to God by saying "We thank you for this Liturgy, which you are pleased to accept from our hands, even though you are surrounded by thousands of Archangels and tens of thousands of Angels". Let us ask forgiveness of one another and of the Lord, reconcile, and set our humble gifts before the Lord to be transformed. It is our great God Who sends down the All-Holy Spirit, by which we all become the body of Christ.

May the Lord accompany us in all our steps. Many years, health, faith, and love to all.

Love in Christ,
Fr. Peter