As most of you are probably aware, the governor issued an executive order which shut down many businesses, and imposed a 10 person or less limit on social gatherings through April 3rd. This order, he later clarified, does not apply to Churches. That being the case, we will continue to have our services as we have scheduled them.
We have decided, for practical reasons, to cancel Church School and Trapeza for the time being. We will announce when we are ready to resume them.
If you think you have been exposed to the Coronavirus, if you have any symptoms, and even if you are coughing and sneezing for some other reason, please stay home. People are very nervous right now, and we do not want to cause other people any more anxiety than they are already experiencing.
If you, or someone in your household is in a high risk group, it would be advisable to stay home for the present. On the other hand, if you feel comfortable going shopping with strangers right now, I do not think you are at greater risk being around those at Church. I cannot promise that no one in the parish will get sick, and I cannot promise that no one will die – I can only promise that if we believe and obey the Gospel, we will not die eternally. Everyone needs to pray about this, and decide for themselves what is the wisest course for them, and then put the rest in God’s hands.
High risk groups are outlined at this link:
If you are concerned about social distancing in the services, it is not going to be practical to maintain a 6 feet zone between everyone for Sunday morning Liturgy, and if this extends through Pascha, as it very likely will, it will be even less practical then. However, we will be having liturgies on other days, and at other times, and usually these services have fewer than 30 people, and so such social distancing would be possible then. During Holy Week, for example, we plan on doing the presanctified Liturgy on Holy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and the Vesperal Liturgy for Holy Thursday. I would anticipate that all of these services would fit into that category in terms of attendance. Also, during Bright Week, we will have an English Liturgy on Bright Friday, and Slavonic Liturgy on Bright Saturday, and these also will have far less than a usual Sunday Liturgy.
We are exploring setting up live streaming for our services, for those who cannot attend. I would especially encourage all who cannot attend the Liturgies to do Typika at home, which is not a complicated service, and everything you will need in terms of texts are linked in this article:
St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, D.C. already streams their services, and they do both English and Slavonic services. You can subscribe to their channel at the following link, and then you will get notifications (if you click on the notification bell) anytime they have a service:
Holy Cross Monastery does more services, and they are all in English. You can subscribe to their channel here:
Everyone attending services should also review the Diocesan guidelines which were previously sent out, and are available here:
We should all increase our prayers. If you find yourself with extra time on your hands, as most people presently are, you should devote at least a good measure of that time to reading the Scriptures, and other spiritual books.
The regular e-Bulletin will be sent out soon, I just didn’t want this message to be overlooked by anyone.