I am pleased to announce that we are phasing up at St. Innocent! The DOS sent a new directive which allows us to operate at full, socially distanced, capacity. Based on the square footage of our worship space we are able to allow 40 people per service (socially distanced @ 6ft).
You may have noticed news stories of churches where the virus has spread during the reopening, I read three such stories today. There is no way to eliminate the risk of COVID19 as our parish reopens, however, with precautions in place we can do our best to mitigate that risk. We will continue to be vigilant with the protections we have in place. For instance, everyone besides the choir, priest, and altar servers, are asked to wear masks throughout the service. As you enter the church you will be asked to sanitize your hands, sign in, and then find a place for you and your family to stand while maintaining a social distance of 6 feet. We are still not allowed to have a coffee hour, people are expected to leave the church immediately after the service. The parish hall will only be open (the side door) so that people can use the restrooms. We are also cleaning and sanitizing after the services, to the best of our ability.
In our new phase (Phase 2 Stage 4) we are allowed to resume having the sacraments of Baptism, Chrismations, Weddings, etc. with our limited cohort. Communion will be received as usual, if you have concerns about this you are welcome to receive “bird-style” (head tilted back, open mouth, the priest puts communion in your mouth). Confessions can only be heard in person and socially distanced with masks on. As is typical, Confession can be heard by appointment, or before or after any service.
It is important to note that there is no pressure anyone to return if they are uncomfortable with doing so or are high-risk. The governor still has a shelter in place order for the high-risk population through mid-June.
As you sign up to attend the Liturgy, please remember that each person in your family takes up an appointed spot, so sign up for every single person coming to Liturgy. We will continue to offer two Divine Liturgies per week over the few weeks: Thursday 9:00 am, and Sunday 10:00 am. Those who sign up for Liturgy on Sunday are also welcome to come to Matins at 8:45 am.
We will continue to live-stream the services on YouTube and Facebook. Links to our YouTube Livestream and Zoom Links for virtual coffee hour can be found in the "events" section of Realm.
As we move forward in this phase there are a few things to note. Here is the sign which will be posted on our Church door