Re: Cathedral Opening Wednesday, September 1, 2021
With the current relaxation of pandemic restrictions the time has arrived again when we will be gathering together for worship. We proceed with anticipation and joy, but also with due care and caution. Beginning Wednesday, September 1, 2021, at which time our church office will reopen to the public during our regular hours of 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, St. Luke's Cathedral will return to a familiar schedule of worship, with Sunday services at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., a mid-week service at 12:10 p.m. on Tuesday, and the Litany of Reconciliation at the Cathedral's front doors at noon on Friday.
While the schedule is familiar, certain patterns and practices will be adapted to address the concerns of gathering in the context of the ongoing pandemic. Similar to our time of opening last autumn, our church seating and worship space have been modified to preserve physical distancing. Congregational singing and coffee fellowship will not happen until an appropriate time in the future. The Passing of the Peace will be limited to the spoken word and a nod or gesture; physical contact is not permitted. The wearing of face masks is required by Public Health directives and will be followed. St. Luke's continues a robust program of sanitation and disinfection consistent with civic requirements.
Particular attention has been given to the administration of Holy Communion. The preparation of the communion elements is and will continue to be done with the highest level of care. While the Celebrant will receive both bread and wine, the congregation will receive communion with bread only; the use of the Common Cup is suspended until further notice. To preserve physical distance and reduce congregational movement, a minister, masked and sanitized, will bring communion to those receiving while they remain in their pews. Please be assured that receiving in this way is a full and sufficient communion. A blessing, without contact, will be offered to anyone who chooses not to receive the bread. As always, partaking in communion is completely voluntary.
These provisions will remain in place as long as required and may be amended as circumstances change.
We look forward to your coming back to church. And there are a few things you can do to help make our worship welcoming, comfortable and safer. Please return only when you feel ready to do so; don't rush, we will be really happy to see you when you do come and hold you in prayer in the meantime. If you have felt in any way unwell or have any reason to think that you may have been exposed to the corona virus, for goodness sake stay home and seek appropriate medical follow-up! If you have a pastoral concern, please call on us.
When you are ready, call the Cathedral office (705-254-7144) to reserve your place and time at worship. We will take your particulars and see that all is ready for you. A pew, with worship materials already in place, will be held for your party: yes, it is just like fine dining. When you arrive, please respect physical distancing, and follow the helpful directions of our greeters and sides-people. If you have forgotten your mask, we will have one available for you. If you come to worship without a reservation, we will do our very best to accommodate you.
While we have been apart many of us have continued to worship via our prerecorded services posted on YouTube; we hope this has been a source of strength and comfort during difficult times. With our move to gathered worship, we are also preparing to move from pre-recorded services to live streamed worship. This is a complex move and may result in a period of time when no online services will be available. We regret this and ask for your patience. Please watch our regular notices for updates in this regard. Thank you for your understanding and consideration.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please call the office and we will be happy to be of assistance.
May God continue to richly bless us!
Yours in Christ,