Parish Protocol Update a/o Nov. 1st

Parish Protocol Update a/o Nov. 1st
  1. Dear Faithful & Friends.

We are having a growing awareness of the increase of the COVID-19 virus transmission nation wide and in our own local Pennsylvania communities. This has coincided with an increase in our faithful gradually returning to Church Services.

Our parish's effort to adapt to the necessary changes brought about by the pandemic has been excellent. Thank you all for your cooperation and patience. At this juncture, we need to renew our vigilance and adjust our practices to ensure the safety and comfortability of all who worship at our parish.

Here's what we are going to do.

  1. Sunday Liturgy will be strictly limited to 50 people. Requests to come to the Sunday Liturgy has recently been greater than 50 so some sacrifices are going to be needed. We will continue to use the Flocknote sign-up sheet but the sign-up will stop once 50 has been reached. For many, this limitation will be a sacrifice ... may it be well pleasing to the Lord.

  2. Please wash or sanitize your hands upon entering the Church. Hand sanitizers are located near the front door.

  3. Please keep a distance of at least six feet between individuals/family groups ... especially when coming forward to receive the Eucharist and afterward. More about this later.

  4. Masks must be worn at all times—covering both nose and mouth—except while receiving Communion. If needed at any time during the Liturgy, quietly walk outside to take a break and breath of fresh Pocono air.

                                          Some changes receiving holy communion

Our current method of receiving communion has caused a traffic jam at the back of the Church and too large of a gathering around the zapivka table (the table with the prosphora and wine). We are going to make changes with this.

                                              Going forward from here:

  1. I will begin by communing the faithful on the right side of the Church (right side as you face the iconostasis). Taking turns, come forward to the chalice right from your spot. No need to form a line at the back of the Church.

Take a paper towel as we've been doing and drop your mask as you approach the chalice.
After receiving the Eucharist, return your mask to its place covering both your mouth and nose, deposit the paper towel in the basket provided (these paper towels are burned later) and collect your prosphora and wine from the zapivka table.

Immediately clear the area and consume your prosphora and wine in a place that allows you to again drop your mask and keep social distance. Garbage cans will be placed at both ends of the back of the church for you to discard the small wine cup. Return to your place.

Next, following the same procedures, the choir will come forward from the left to receive the Eucharist. Once the choir has communed, the faithful from the left will come forward to receive the Eucharist ... again, I don't feel a line will need to be formed if you simply file out row by row from your place - beginning at the front and working backwards.

I hope this is clear and will provide good order and safety to our worship.

With all this being said, let us not be disheartened in any way as we adapt and conform our worship to the conditions of our day. If you are one of the 50 to be able to attend Liturgy this Sunday, consider not attending the following Sunday to give room to others.

If you cannot attend this Sunday or any other Sunday, join us through our YouTube channel holytrinitypoconos at 9:30 am. Or, another good alternative, pray at home with your family in the morning. 

May God bless and keep us.
Father Nicholas

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