Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Beginning with Orthros and Liturgy on Sunday, May 24th, we are able to have more people in attendance at our services! We will be following the guidelines put forth by our Archdiocese and in adherence to the directives from our state.
We understand that some of you have been anxiously waiting to return to church, while some aren’t yet comfortable doing so. To help facilitate an orderly approach to returning, while keeping within the safe standards of social distancing within the church, we should be able to have approximately 20 people at each service. Please, SEND FR. BEN AN EMAIL BY FRIDAY if you are ready and able to return to church with the names of those who will be coming when scheduled. We send out a parish-wide email each Saturday morning, with the list of people/families able to attend Liturgy on Sunday. This is in alphabetical order for the time being, based on who is ready to return.
We continue live-streaming the services on St. Michael’s YouTube Channel – realize there is a little more background noise once there are others in the church celebrating the services with us!
Please, read the directives (updated on May 30th) that we have put together for our parish. This list is by no means exhaustive, and we imagine a more thorough list will come out, but for now, helps to guide us as we prepare to join together again. Let us abide by them willingly and lovingly, out of obedience to those in authority over us and out of love for our neighbor.
We look forward to seeing you all soon. We will have Vespers on Saturday evening, at 7 PM. This allows for extra time for Fr. Ben to hear confessions by appointment beforehand (please send him an email if you would like to schedule this). You can also meet via Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype for the spiritual conversation portion with the absolution prayer being done in person when you come to the church, if you are more comfortable with that at this time.
Peace and Love in Christ
A Special Prayer for Protection and Healing from the New Pandemic
O Lord, our God, the rich, the merciful, and wise in His care: in Thy wisdom take care of our lives, hear our prayers, accept our repentance for our sins, and stop this rampant pandemic in the same way that Thou didst stop punishing Thy people in the days of David the King. O Physician of our souls and bodies: grant healing to those infected by this pandemic, and let them rise quickly from their pain to glorify Thee, O merciful Savior; as for those who are healthy, protect them from any disease.
Bless, O Lord, and support all those who care with love and sacrifice for the sick wherever they are found, whether they are at home or in hospitals, and keep them with Thy grace. Protect Thy people from all disease and pain, and teach us to value life and health as Thy gifts.
Grant us, O God, Thy peace, and fill our hearts with firm faith in Thy care, and with love towards Thee and our neighbor. Have mercy on us, and save us, O our God, and to Thee we ascribe glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.