IN-PERSON SERVICE ATTENDANCE
With joy, we welcome everyone back to prayer and worship! Although we are limited to 25% seating capacity (approximately 125 people), we will use The Cultural Center for overflow which will enable an additional 125 people to attend. With this stated, no one will need to pre-register to attend services. However, please be certain to review all of the procedures outlined in the “Safely Returning to Worship” handout found below.
SAFELY RETURNING TO WORSHIP
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, Grand Rapids, MI
While we are so grateful that we can prepare to worship in the way worship is intended—together, in person—we know that there will be changes that make this uncomfortable for all of us, perhaps in different ways. As we have said repeatedly, none of our adaptations are taken out of fear, but out of love for others who may differ significantly in their views from our own. We hope that these adaptations will be temporary in this extraordinary situation, and we continue to place trust in our bishops, as our guides and shepherds, while practicing obedience under their care. We ask for your humble cooperation.
BEFORE COMING TO CHURCH:
Check yourself: If you are elderly, are feeling sick, have a fever, have a compromised immune / respiratory system or have any other issue that puts you in an “at risk” category, please remain at home. Those not attending services at this time are welcome to schedule an appointment with Fr. Michael to receive Confession and Holy Communion.
Holy Oblations: The easy access Holy Oblation form is found on our St. Nicholas website under the “Parishioners” tab or by visiting [HOLY OBLATION].
Children: The cry room will only be available for one family at a time during this transition period, so please be certain that your children are capable of remaining with you in your pew. Please use the disinfecting wipes to clean any touched surfaces before leaving the cry room.
What to bring:
Face mask (strongly encouraged) and personal hand sanitizer.
Service books will not be available in your pews, so feel free to bring a printed copy of the service if you desire to follow along. Liturgical Guides containing the hymns, Epistle, and Gospel are available as you enter.
Timeliness: It is important to arrive early due to the number of regulations that must be followed before you can enter the Nave for worship.
Entrances: The following entrances will be accessible:
The main wooden doors (Entrance A) in the front of the church (handicap accessible).
The doors under the canopy (Entrance C) by The Cultural Center (perfect drop-off location during rainy weather).
For those parking in the back of the facility, please use the sidewalk that runs between the Nave and the Church School classrooms. This sidewalk leads to the doors located in the stained glass window hallway (Entrance J) by the Narthex of the church.
NOTE: For those attending Saturday’s Great Vespers: Use Entrance C which is located under the canopy in the front of the church.
Safety Procedures: You are asked to comply with the following regulations:
Face masks are highly recommended and should be worn at all times while in the building, except when receiving Holy Communion. Face masks are available at the church for those without one.
A non-invasive temperature reader will be used to monitor the temperature of each person entering the building. Individuals with a temperature above 100° will be asked to return home.
Visitors will register their visit.
Hand Washing is much more effective than hand sanitizer, so please proceed to a restroom upon arrival and say the Lord’s Prayer, (of course, while washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds).
PROCEDURES FOR WORSHIP:
Candles: Candles will be arranged so that you can take one without touching others.
Reverencing Icons: When reverencing an icon, bow and make the sign of the cross. Please refrain from kissing or touching the icons.
Offerings: An Offering box will be available in the Narthex for those who have not given electronically or by mail. Trays will not be passed.
Seating: An usher will seat you and your household. Households will be asked to maintain a 6-foot distance between themselves and any others sharing the pew.
Holy Communion: Please remain at your seat until an usher dismisses you and your household to receive Holy Communion. You will be dismissed up the side aisles and should proceed back to your place via the center aisle. Remember: Those receiving Holy Communion will do so by tilting their heads back and opening their mouth wide and not closing their lips on the spoon.
Dismissal: At the end of the service, please remain at your seat until an usher dismisses you and your household to reverence the cross (with a bow and without physical touch) and receive the Antidoron (Holy Bread).
There will not be Coffee Hour. For those wishing to catch-up with their fellow parishioners, please do so outside while maintaining appropriate social distancing.