Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Christ is in our midst!
Our Lenten season is a time of renewed focus on prayer and repentance, as well as acts of love towards God and each other. We are normally sustained in this by a more active participation in the services and life of the Church.
Attached, find (and please read) the directive from our Metropolitan Joseph regarding actions each of our parishes will be taking during this time to help slow down the spread of COVID-19 (flatten the curve). Our service schedule on Fridays for Little Compline with the Akathist hymn and on Sundays for Orthros and Liturgy will remain the same, though we are asked to not have more than 10 people in the church at a time. I will be there on March 18 at 6:30, as well.
As our time together becomes limited due to the request to limit gatherings to 10 or fewer people, I encourage each of you to increase your time in prayer at home. Do not let this be a time where you take consolation in binge watching episodes of your favorite TV program or movie series! Rather spend more time reading the Scriptures, spiritual books (if you need suggestions, please send me an email), and praying (as a family if God has put you in such a situation). There are additional resources for the services appropriate for you to pray at home on the archdiocesan website. In addition to this, please consider how you can help your neighbors. There are many on Cape Cod and in our parish who can not or should not be spending much time outside of their homes due to the virus. Call them. Bring them food. Send them letters. Pray for them.
May we respond to this pandemic not with fear or outrage (at those around us or at God), but rather may we respond in repentance to God, reflecting on our sinfulness and knowing God’s mercy and love for each of us. May we turn our hearts and our minds to Christ, that we might be united to Him in our thoughts, words, and actions. I will continue to pray for each of you, and ask that you keep me in your prayers, as well.
Peace and joy in Christ.
To clarify some points from the letter:
I will be having Akathist on Friday evenings at 6:30 PM and Orthros and Liturgy on Sunday mornings beginning at 9:00 AM. The only people who will be in attendance at these services will be 2-3 choir members/chanters and 2-3 servers, all who are in good health and are not classified as high risk for the corona virus. We are working on having these live-streamed, most likely through our facebook page. If we are not able to do so, the resources for praying the Typika are on our archdiocesan webpage under the liturgics section for the day. I will also send out other options for watching the Liturgy with one of our sister parishes if we can’t. Holy Cross Monastery in WV is live-streaming their Lenten services, which can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ-sqeQbmgzrL0t8uFJm4Ew
We will not be having the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy on Wednesdays at this time.
If there are other times that I will be able to be at the church to have the doors open for people to come in and pray (with appropriate social distancing), such as this evening (Wednesday the 18th) between 6 and 7, we will post this on the website or send out an email.
God be with you.