My beloved in Jesus Christ,
It is with great joy and thankfulness to God and to our Metropolitan that we announce that the faithful of St. Simeon may now attend Divine and Holy Services. Saturday Vespers at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday Orthros and Liturgy at 8:30 a.m. will be celebrated as usual and open to the first 75 people- so please come early. The Metropolitan wishes us to comply with all of the recommendations of our State and County Health department, which we will do. It is important, as the county will reevaluate the new covid 19 cases over the next 21 days and modify their order based on the number of new cases in each area. So with this in mind I ask you to carefully comply with the following important rules;
1. Prepare yourself spiritually to come back to Church and receive the sacraments. Come with repentance, with humility, with joy, and with trust in our God.
2. I urge any elderly, infirm, or high risk individuals to stay home and attend Liturgy by live-stream for the next 21 days. Communion will be available after Liturgy for those who have scheduled this with me.
3. I ask each person that will attend Liturgy to take their temperature at home just before leaving their homes; Do not come to Church if you have a temperature of greater than 100.1degrees, or if you have any symptoms of coughing, fever, sore throat, sneezing, fatigue, or muscle aches.
4. Face-masks will be required for all parishioners except while taking communion.
5. Chanters will maintain 20 feet separation from nearest parishioner. No Choir will take place.
6. Social distancing within the Nave, where all chairs have been removed except for the perimeter. 6 foot tape markings have been placed to help keep this distance between different families and parishioners.
7. Hand Sanitizing gel provided at the entrance
8. No coffee hour
9. Congregants should exit the Church building immediately after the service is over. Any socializing should be done outside, keeping appropriate distances.
10. No kissing or touching of any objects, people or priest within the Church Building.
11. Liturgy will be performed with one priest, 1 Deacon, 1 server, and two chanters.
12. Communion will be given with mouth wide open and not touching the spoon in any way, in a completely safe fashion.
13. The entire church, including door handles, bathrooms, icons, liturgical utensils and objects will be disinfected before and after every service.
Beloved, please forgive all of the rules but I am absolutely confident that this will provide the maximum possible protection for our parishioners-probably more than we observe anywhere else- as we get back to our living our lives. I look forward to seeing everyone and will rejoice with you as we begin our common work and prayer together again.
With all of my love in Christ Jesus,