RE-OPENING OF STS. ANARGYROI
We have reopened, slowly and cautiously and in a very limited fashion, the physical building of our church for Sunday services. I thank you for your patience and prayers as we have navigated our way through this. As we are limited to 50% of our capacity, and spacing concerns and the small seating area of our church further limit us, we have only been able to fit a small number in church while also maintaining strict physical distancing. Again, please know it is totally acceptable and even encouraged to take your time coming back to church - come back when you are comfortable with the decision.
Below are some ground rules which reflect both the recommendations of the Commonwealth and the Metropolitan. We have been following these. I ask that you also, if you choose to come to church, follow them. In recent days in Massachusetts restaurants have reopened with limited indoor seating. I have personally observed how seriously people take the rules in such a situation. I ask that you take coming to church and abiding by the restrictions as seriously as you would in a secular place:
- Please do not come to the church if you are feeling sick or have a household family member that is sick, or if you have any symptoms of the COVID-19 infection or have been in contact with or exposed to someone with COVID-19. More info here.
- We continue to recommend that you stay at home and watch the live stream services if you are still uncomfortable being in public gatherings or are in the higher risk categories as indicated by the CDC. Even though our church will now we open, we will continue to ask that those at risk do not attend until further notice.
- Entrance will be through the front doors of the church. One family unit will be admitted at a time. If you wish to light a candle you may do that in the narthex. You will then be escorted to the next available seat. While waiting outside the church please keep a six foot space between the next person or family unit. If you need to use the elevator, please come to the courtyard doors and ring the bell. Please understand that you will quite likely not be sitting in your usual seat.
- Please wear a mask throughout the service. Anyone not wearing a mask or other appropriate PPE will not be admitted.
- Holy Communion is a matter of concern for many. Our method of distribution as of now has not changed. If you have any concerns at all, we recommend that you simply refrain from receiving. For those who do receive, we kindly ask that you keep your mouth open wide. Further instructions will be given each Sunday.
- Following the service, antidoron - the blessed bread - will be distributed via gloves and tongs. Please cup your hands to receive the bread. The Parish Council will dismiss the congregation by person/family unit so we can facilitate physical distancing as we exit. Again, please do not congregate in the aisles, hallways, restrooms, entrance way, etc.
- Please refrain from hugging, kissing, and shaking hands. Veneration of icons should be by a simple bow.
- For the foreseeable future, public areas will be sanitized before and after each service.
- The only open areas of the building will be the entrance ways and restrooms. All other areas of the facility should be considered off-limits.
- Weekday services will continue to be live streamed only.
- In June we reached our current capacity on several Sundays. To avoid a situation where we have to turn people away from service, please consider staying home for a Sunday if you have been to church several weeks in a row. Let’s give as many people as possible a chance to attend on a Sunday.
- Once again, per the signs we have in the narthex, please refrain from kissing the icons. An equivalent reverence is a bow before the icon.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact Fr. Greg with concerns/questions/suggestions/complaints. We are doing our best in these strange times to manage our situation. Communal worship is important, and our blessing to be