Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Hard to believe it has been one year since the pandemic hit us most hard with the shutting down of nearly the entire nation and world. Only the clergy and chanters were allowed to conduct the worship services of Lent, Holy Week and Pascha, with the faithful watching on their screens at home.
Thankfully, restrictions have eased to allow in-person worship since last July and we are steadily increasing capacity the last few weeks. We are planning for a full complement of Holy Week services this year including maximum capacity of 300 that includes seating and video feeds in the fellowship hall and community center atrium.
Online sign-up will be required for nearly all worship services. Seating will be on a first come, first serve basis. Those who have not signed-up online will not be allowed admittance to the service. Current safety protocols will remain including: masking, temperature taking, hand sanitizing, and physical distancing.
We are planning an outdoor procession of the Epitaphios on Holy Friday (service ends outdoors) and an outdoor Anastasi/Resurrection service for Holy Pascha beginning at midnight on Sunday May 2nd (Divine Liturgy indoors will follow). During the week, are planning to safely distribute palm crosses/branches, Holy Unction, flowers, pascal eggs and the Anastasi light. Please see the schedule with instructions that accompany this letter.
For those who are unable to join us in-person, we will still be broadcasting all our worship services through Livestream on our website, which simulcasts on our parish Facebook page.
As the Paschal/Resurrection Oikos says above, “through the Cross, joy has come to all the world.” The pandemic and its terrible consequences have certainly been a cross to many. But as it lifts, may we be joyful and thankful for the new perspective it has instilled, and the blessings, both seen and hidden, that have been bestowed upon us.
Blessed Pascha. Blessed Resurrection. Christ is Risen!
Καλό Πάσχα. Καλή Ἀνάσταση. Χριστός Ἀνέστη!
Joyfully Awaiting the Resurrection,
+Rev. Fr. Dr. Richard Demetrius Andrews, Protopresbyter