Covid-19 Updates

5/22/2020 Update from Fr Alex – Please see below

4/27/2020 Update from Fr Alex

4/16/2020 Paschal Greetings from His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH

4/10/2020 Metropolitan JOSEPH’S Pastoral Letter for Holy Week

4/6/2020 A Statement of the Holy Synod, Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East

4/4/2020 Statement of the ACOB-USA Executive Committee Concerning Holy Week and Pascha

​4/2/2020​​​​​​ ​NEW:​​​​​ ​Updated COVID19 Directive From Metropolitan JOSEPH​

​3/24​/2020​​​​​​ ​​Pastoral Letter from His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH – COVID-19​​

​3/17/2020​​​​​​ ​​Updated COVID-19 Policy From His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH​​

​3/17/2020 ​Readers Services Now Available for Those Unable to Attend Church​

​3/13/2020 ​Encyclica​l of His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH Regarding COVI​D-19​

Parish Instructions

5/22/2020

Christ is risen!

Brothers and sisters,

Now that Broward County has entered Phase 1 of reopening Florida, I am pleased to let you know that this Sunday, May 24, we are opening our parish for attendance in the church at 25% capacity.  That means we are able to have 55 people present during the service. We have prepared the church to be clean and safe, mindful of health needs and issues in preparation for a non-touch experience. Please pay special attention to the protocols we will follow.

We will follow CDC Social Distancing Guidelines

  • According to the CDC and White House guidelines, all vulnerable persons should not attend Church at this time and ought to wait until we enter the Phase 3 stage. We will continue to Live Stream the services online. (www.OrthodoxFL.com)  Fr Alex will be available following the Divine Liturgy by appointment to distribute communion to those who were unable to attend.  Please call the church (954) 584-4030 and leave a message to schedule an appointment or email a message to FrAlex@OrthodoxFL.com. Vulnerable persons are defined as Elderly individuals, and individuals with serious underlying health conditions.

  • Masks or face coverings will be required for those over 3 years old.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children 2 years of age and under do not wear masks or face coverings.

  • Symptoms of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell. Parishioners who exhibit any of these symptoms must NOT attend church, and immediately seek medical attention for themselves and their household.

  • In terms of preventing the spread of this virus, please remember to follow CDC directives, which currently include: washing of hands thoroughly and frequently, covering your coughs and sneezes, avoiding sharing personal items, wearing a mask, and maintaining a social distance of six feet.

Preparation of the Church

  • The church will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected – especially pews and other highly-touched surfaces and items – before and after each service.

  • Hand sanitizer stations will be available at the entrance of the church and at the candle table.

  • The bathrooms will be sanitized before and after each service.

  • Entrance doors will be propped open so that handles do not need to be used.

During the Service

  • We will record the names and phone numbers of each attendee at every service in the event that a subsequent infection requires tracing.

  • We ask everyone to observe proper hygiene practices – no hugging, handshakes, or kissing, proper handwashing, cough/sneeze into shoulder, etc.

  • Honor/veneration is to be shown to the Holy Icons and the Holy Cross by only making the sign of the cross and bowing, keeping in mind not to kiss or to touch the Holy Icons and the Holy Cross.

  • Households must remain together during the service.  If children are unable to remain with their families, they should not attend.

  • Due to the recent research about the spread of the virus through singing, we will not proceed with choirs yet but will have 2 singers/chanters in the front of the church on opposite sides.

  • There will only be one server with the priest.  They will sanitize their hands frequently including before the service, before the cutting of bread, before “Holy Things are for the Holy,” before distribution of Communion, and before the distribution of Antidoron (Holy Bread).

  • There will be empty rows of pews between the faithful to allow appropriate social distancing between persons not living in the same household.

  • Parishioners are not to move around the church during the services to light candles or venerate icons.

  • There will be no passing of the offering trays for the collection.  Rather a collection basket will be positioned at the entrance of the church for the faithful to use.  You are encouraged to use the mail, Venmo, Paypal, and online methods as well.

  • An usher will be assigned to direct people in line for Communion or Antidoron (Holy Bread). They will usher only one pew at a time.  Tape will be placed on the floor to further help with remaining 6 feet apart.

  • Communicants may remove their masks only momentarily to receive Holy Communion.

  • No one is to touch the communion cloth while receiving Communion.

  • When receiving Communion, the mouth must be opened wide and the head tilted back.  The spoon will not touch the mouth of the communicant.

  • Fr Alex will distribute the Antidoron (Holy Bread) following the service wearing plastic gloves. Do not kiss his hand.  He will also wear a mask at this time as well as during the distribution of Communion.

  • Per the guidance of the Archdiocese, we will not be having a Church School Program at Church at this time, but please avail yourself of the wonderful weekly online family program called “Virtual Sunday School” available on our webpage (www.OrthodoxFL.com).  It focuses on the Sunday theme/reading.  Another great program is the “Be the Bee” online program.

  • Additionally, per the Archdiocese, Sunday Coffee Fellowship hours will continue to be suspended until further notice. For the continued safety of those attending church and of those who are coming following Divine Liturgy for Communion by appointment (ie: the vulnerable who could not come to Liturgy), parishioners should leave when the service is finished. If you are socializing outside, please remember to keep social distancing practices.

As I mentioned above, we will continue our online Live Streaming of the services for those who are unable to attend Liturgy, but I am very excited that we will begin to worship at Church.  Let me conclude with the prayer that the priest says every Divine Liturgy as he washes his hands before the service.  Feel free to use this prayer whenever you like.  It comes from Psalm 25(26):6-12.

I wash my hands in innocence, and go about Your altar, O Lord, singing aloud a song of praise, and telling all Your miracles. O Lord, I love the beauty of Your house, and the place where Your glory dwells. Do not sweep my soul away with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men, men in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes. But as for me, I walk in my integrity; deliver me, and have mercy on me. My foot stands on level ground; in the churches I will bless You, O Lord.

Rejoice in the Lord,

Fr Alex

 

 

 

 

 

 

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