Dear Fathers, Brothers, and Sisters in Christ,
On behalf of Archbishop Alexander and the Diocese of the South administration, all parishes in our Diocese have been asked to abide by the following precautions, to prevent the further spread of Corona Virus, and to protect our elderly parishioners from harm:
1) All parish social gatherings are cancelled until further notice, including coffee hours, parish meetings, classes, and other social events.
2) Those who are most at risk — especially those over 60, or who have health conditions such as COPD, diabetes, asthma, etc. — are asked to stay home and not attend liturgical services until further notice.
3) Anyone who exhibits any signs of illness — including cough, fever, congestion, etc. — should stay home and not attend church services.
4) Although icons and other items in the parish should be cleaned regularly, parishioners should take care not to kiss the surfaces of these items directly when venerating.
His Eminence would like to emphasize that the Eucharist can never be a source of disease, as it is the source of Life. However, other basic forms of human contact may enable the spread of the virus. Although young persons are not at great risk, even if contracting Corona Virus, we must should due diligence in not spreading it, as it disproportionately affects the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Christian love mandates that we take care for the sake of our brethren.
Thus, additional precautions may be taken, such as not kissing the chalice or wiping the mouth at Communion, or not offering blessed prosfora and wine (zapivka) after receiving. These are left to the discretion of each priest.
And finally, our two Deanery events,Sunday Mission Vespers (March 15 and 22), are also cancelled.
Fr. Joseph Lucas
The Street Sale is cancelled. No services are cancelled.