The time has come for us to return to in-person worship in the church. We began last Sunday, September 13, with the 8 a.m. service in the nave. It is Rite I with no music. This Sunday, September 20, we will also offer 8 a.m. in-person worship in the church, and the 10 a.m. will be live streaming in the church with no congregation. On Sunday, September 27, we will begin to allow people to attend the 10 a.m. service as well. That will be Rite II with some music. We will move our patronal festival of St. Michael and All Angels to that day to make it a special day. Here is how it will work:
For both services:
Service bulletins and wafers will be placed in the pews in groups of one, two or three. Each place will be no closer than six feet from any other. Household groups may sit together. There may be no more than sixty people in the church. Ushers will help with the spacing and seating. (Wafers are put in bags ahead of time by Altar Guild wearing gloves and masks). No wine will be offered to the congregation.
Mask are required. Upon entering the church an usher will take your temperature, and you will use hand sanitizer on your hands.
At the time of the Great Thanksgiving, you may take out your wafer and hold it while the priest blesses it during the prayer. Then you may eat it when the priest eats the one on the altar.
After the service, please maintain six feet of separation as you greet and converse with your friends.
Be aware that we have not sanitized the interior of the church. Bring your own wipes to wipe down pews and anything you might touch. We have left the books in the pews; do not touch them. In all cases, please do not come if you have a fever or any flu-like symptoms. Do not come if you have other health issues that make you in a higher risk category. Do not come if you any anxiety about your safety.
8 a.m. Service
There will be no music.
10 a.m. Service
We will continue to live stream the service. Because singers must be at least thirty feet from anyone else, we will need to reduce the amount of singing. There will be no congregational singing at all. There will be instrumental music, and there may be one or two voices at a distance if we can figure out how the live stream equipment can pick up and balance the sound.
I cannot wait to see those of you who wish to participate under these conditions. Of course, should there be a second wave of new cases of COVID19 or the Governor increases the restrictions, we will have to change our practices or eliminate in-person worship. Let us be smart and safe.