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COVID-19 Update - Resumption of Liturgy July 12, 2020

posted Mar 18, 2020, 5:30 PM by John Banas   [ updated Sep 7, 2020, 2:52 PM ]

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


We pray everyone is safe and healthy, by God's grace, during this difficult time of the Coronavirus Pandemic.  


With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Savas and our Metropolis of Pittsburgh, the church is now reopen each Sunday for Orthros and Divine Liturgy.  We are following CDC guidelines for churches and the directives Metropolitan Savas has provided us to help keep everyone as safe as possible.


As we as a Parish are preparing for a gradual reopening of church services and parish activities, we are working with our Metropolitan Savas and our Metropolis of Pittsburgh to follow CDC guidelines for churches and the directives Metropolitan Savas has provided us with to help keep everyone as safe as possible.

 

We are attaching the Metropolis of Pittsburgh's publication The Road Ahead which outlines the temporary guidelines we are following as we resume church services. 


First, if you have any signs or symptoms of any acute illness (whether it is COVID or not), you MUST stay home, as should those who have come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID within the last 2 weeks.

 

SOCIAL DISTANCING

At this time, we are permitted to serve Divine Liturgy with up to 50% capacity in the church, everyone wearing masks and social distancing.  Pews and carpets will be marked to help maintain 6 feet social distancing.  Once you arrive at church, someone from the parish council will help you to your seat. Family groups may sit together, but must remain 6 feet social distancing from everyone else.   

 

HOLY COMMUNION 

Our Orthodox Christian faith and worship remain unchanged at their core, including our teaching on the sanctity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ "for the remission of sins and life eternal."  As stated by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, "The Mother Church of Constantinople knows empirically from its two-thousand-year existence that Holy Communion is 'the antidote to mortality' and remains firm in its Orthodox teaching regarding the Holy Eucharist."  As such, parishes are permitted to return to their customary parish practice of distributing and receiving the Holy Gifts.  Please form a line following the directions of the parish council and observing 6ft distancing.  Those who are prepared to receive must remove their mask prior to approaching the chalice.  After receiving Holy Communion but before replacing the mask they should proceed to the Antidoron tray to consume a piece of bread to ensure the Holy Gifts are not expelled onto the mask.


DISMISSAL

After Divine Liturgy, everyone is asked to head to the back of the church and take antidoro, if they wish, while maintaining social distancing and immediately leave the church. No trays will be passed out. Please drop off your stewardship in a tray as you exit the church.   

Coffee hour is suspended until further notice. 

 

OTHER

Kollyva is permitted if pre-bagged and left at the back of the church for parishioners to take.  

The church will be cleaned and sanitized after every Divine Liturgy.

It is recommended that parishioners 65 years of age and over, those with health issues and those living in long-term care facilities not attend church services but watch online or by other means during this initial yellow phase.  

We are working on implementing a live stream of all of our church services.

 

We pray the remainder of the pandemic is of short duration. We will keep you informed of further developments.

 

In the Risen Christ,

 

The Parish Council of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Wilkes-Barre



Helpful links during COVID-19:
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John Banas,
Jul 7, 2020, 5:58 PM
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