Reopening at St. George of Boston – Phase One

After two months of ‘lock-down’ at St. George, we are pleased to announce the initiation of Phase One of our re-opening.  This much anticipated phase should prepare us to safely resume, in due time, the parish life-style we are accustomed to.  We will continue to closely monitor and adhere to the local civil, medical and ecclesiastical directives as this phase proceeds. 

Following up-dated guide-lines published by our Archdiocese and the current restrictions of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Boston we plan to enter Phase One of a gradual reopening of the church beginning on Wednesday, 20 May.  Realizing that the ‘stay-at-home’ order is still in effect in Massachusetts and that churches are not exempt from the current government guidelines; we will inaugurate the following procedures here at St. George.

  • The church is now reopened for private visitation and prayer with a limit of ten persons at any given time (please call first) respectful of appropriate social-distancing norms and existing COVID sanitary precautions.
  • Liturgical services are celebrated by one priest, one sub-deacon and two chanters. Services are live-streamed via http://www.stgeorgeofboston.org/livestream  for parishioners to participate from home and also available through Facebook and YouTube.
  • An additional six parishioners [in keeping with the local ten-person limit for gatherings] are invited to attend the liturgical services on a rotating basis respecting existing social-distancing and COVID precautions [the number of participants is subject to change depending on local stipulations].
  • In order to limit attendees, parishioners are asked to use this Signup Genius link https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040A4EABA62FA2FB6-divine  the first six persons who sign up will be able to attend.  Attendance is on a rotating basis. SignUp to Attend Services
  • On the Signup Genius Page, you will see all of the available dates for divine liturgy. Please review the available slots, and click on the 'sign up' box next to the date that you would like. Please include the number of your family members who will be attending, noting that there is a strict limit of six parishioners per service, for the time being. Please only select one date to allow everyone in our parish an opportunity to attend.
  • In addition to Orthros and Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning, we will celebrate Liturgy on Wednesday at 9 AM and on Saturday at 10 AM allowing parishioners the opportunity to participate at one of these services on a rotating basis. Additional services will be scheduled according to the Liturgical Calendar of Saints and Feasts.
  • During this initial phase elderly parishioners and those with compromised health issues are asked to remain at home.
  • Private reception of the Sacraments of Confession and Eucharist can be scheduled with either Fr. Timothy or Fr. Gregory.   
  • Baptisms and weddings can be scheduled at church in strict accordance with the prevailing local restrictions for social gatherings.
  • Funeral services will be prayed at the funeral home [funeral director permitting] or at the grave site because of inability to strictly regulate the number of mourners.
  • Non-liturgical gatherings such as church-school, coffee hour, hall rentals, receptions, cooking and baking etc. will not resume at this time.
  • Committee and organization meetings, bible studies, adult catechism and other programs will continue to be offered via ZOOM or live-streaming.

To stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, church, health and government officials recommend avoiding large gatherings and maintaining a distance of 6 feet from other people. This reduces the chance of contact with those knowingly or unknowingly carrying the infection. The CDC [the Federal governments Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] recommends use of non-medical, cloth-based face coverings in public settings.  Such coverings in public are obligatory in Massachusetts.  During this initial phase of re-opening of St. George Church, the following COVID era safety and sanitary precautions will be adhered to.

  • The church will be cleaned and disinfected prior to and following each service.
  • Doors and windows will be opened during services to facilitate the continual flow of fresh air.
  • Parishioners are expected to wear appropriate face masks both outside and inside of church. Clergy and servers will be masked when not celebrating.  
  • Sanitizer will be available at the ‘mérida’ and parishioners are strongly encouraged to bring their own personal tube to church to use during the service. Sanitizer is also placed in the sanctuary where the clergy and servers will use it periodically during each service. 
  • Accepted standards of social-distancing [at least six feet between persons] will be adhered to. Pews will be blocked off and labeled to better direct the faithful.  Family members living in the same household may be seated together.  An usher or server will direct the faithful when approaching the chalice for Communion and at the dismissal blessing. 
  • Offering trays will not be passed at the services rather a basket for receiving offerings, prayer requests, pledges, special requests etc. will be placed at the ‘mérida’ stand.
  • The faithful are encouraged to continue their financial support of St. George Church especially during this difficult time by mailing their offering or pledge directly to the office or by donating on-line at http://stgeorgeofboston.org/donate
  • A placard outlining these and all other necessary precautionary directives will be prominently placed at the entrance to the church.

We earnestly pray that, in due time, we can once again gather as the faithful to worship and thank Almighty God according to the manner in which we are so accustomed.  Until that day we remain faithful to the life and teachings of Christ and His Church while staying safe and well knowing that together we are the community of believers that makes up the Body of Christ. 

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