Directives for Entering the Church during the Pandemic as We Reopen
(as of June 1, 2020; per Fr. Nicholas and the Parish Council)
Stay home if any of the following apply:
You have a compromised immune system or another underlying medical condition that elevates your risk of infection (heart or lung disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.) or if someone in your household is in a high-risk category.
If, at this time, you do not feel safe to attend in a closed space with other people.
You or someone in your immediate household
has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not fully recovered, as confirmed by a medical professional;
is running a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher;
has a cough;
has shortness of breath;
otherwise feels unwell; or
has been indirectly or directly exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 14 days. (Refer to CDC guidelines for other symptoms that may indicate infection).
If you are 65 or over
And if none of the above apply to you.
You may attend church although it is the Metropolitan’s, our Bishop’s, and my loving and sincere recommendation that you stay home a bit longer due to your higher risk from the Coronavirus.
If you decide to attend, please fill out the survey that the parish council has been sending around so that you can be assigned a particular Sunday to attend.
When you attend please follow all of the directives below.
Before you come to Church, be sure to
Take your temperature and the temperature of each family member.
Have a mask for each family member.
What precautions are being taken to keep everyone safe?
The church is being thoroughly cleaned, using sanitizers capable of destroying the novel coronavirus, between each service (and indeed between each visit for individual communion/confession during the week as well).
Seating has been modified to facilitate parishioners from separate households remaining more than six feet apart. Every other row will be marked with signs marking it to not be used. The aisle will be wider than normal to ensure that parishioners in the communion line can remain more than six feet from those people still seated.
During communion, marks on the floor (similar to those you may have seen at grocery and other stores) will indicate where to stand to remain six feet behind the group in front of you.
While at Church, the following apply:
Wear a face mask at all times, other than when receiving Communion. When you remove the mask for communion do so only as you approach the chalice and keep the mask on your person. Replace the mask on your nose and mouth after you have received the Body and Blood of Christ.
Help your children to wear their face mask (practice outside of Church!).
If you want to use a prayer candle they will be distributed by a gloved usher.
The offering basket will be in the narthex rather than passed. Leave your financial offering there or deliver it by electronic transfer or mail.
Service books will not be available.
Keep your children under 13 with you at all times – if they need to leave the nave, be sure to go with them.
Wash your hands often (for at least 20 seconds) or use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizers will be available in the narthex.
Maintain at least six feet of distance between you and others (except those in your immediate household) – one household per row is a good rule of thumb.
Choirs will not be allowed yet.
No congregational singing or sung responses. However, there will be two chanters separated by least 6 feet who will do all the singing and chanting.
Verbal reciting of the creed, the Lord’s prayer, and the communion confession will be allowed but spoken in a soft voice.
When lining up for communion, look for the six-foot marks taped onto the center aisle.
According to Metropolitan Joseph’s directives: “We will continue to offer Communion according to our Tradition, but all should allow the priest to pour the Body and Blood by opening their mouths wide and not closing their lips on the spoon.”
Do not shake hands, kiss (people, icons, Gospel, cross, priest’s hand), or hug.
Do not touch your face.
If you need to cough, be sure to do so into a tissue or in your bended elbow.
Leave your financial offering in the basket or tray marked for that purpose in the Narthex (or deliver it by electronic transfer or mail).
Do not use the parish’s service books.
Do not congregate in the restrooms – no more than two persons in the restrooms at the same time. Children will be accompanied by their parents.
Do not congregate in the nave or narthex – after the service please immediately exit the building in an orderly fashion maintaining a six-foot separation between people.
The blessed bread will be distributed by a gloved and masked altar server outside the double doors as you leave. Before you receive the blessed bread spread a Kleenex tissue in the palm of your hand. The altar server will place the blessed bread on the Kleenex.