Pandemic Protocols: Proactive Liturgies
Liturgy A: Worst case. Citywide lock down or rapid viral spike. Virtual Church only. Altar parties are limited to not more than 3; they will do social distancing and wear masks as appropriate. Music will be limited to an opening and closing hymn and perhaps service music using not more than two voices masked. The Liturgy will be what is called “Ante-Communion.” If you look in your BCP it is a regular “Mass” that goes up to the Peace and ends. The only difference is the Lord’s Prayer must be included. That should make the video between 30 min to 45 min. Certainly less than a full mass. (Several comments point toward a shortened service. It seems that the view drop off is substantial after about 30 min. so our goal is to come close to that and still offer a solid worship experience albeit virtual).
Liturgy B: Is intended for periods when transmission rates are high but State, Local, and Diocesan guidelines still permit gathering but perhaps with restrictions. [NOTE: I intend to do this mass this Sunday and perhaps next]. Altar party not to exceed 3, masked social distancing; pews will be marked i.e. green no occupancy etc. like after Delta spike; masks required; limited seating to no more than perhaps 40. Music more modestly offered with a Cantor only (1 voice) and Ken. Yes, this will include Eucharist as we have been offering it. Windows open weather permitting; or, a/c fans on to circulate the air; limited incense; no processions. Something of a hybrid between virtual and full solemn mass.
Liturgy B1: Proposes a limited outdoor mass perhaps in the church garden. Traffic noise is an issue so promoting that type of service is speculative but quite possible.
Liturgy C: Is intended for those periods when infection rates are very low. Similar to that time just before the Omicron variant took hold. Full choir in masks, full solemn high mass- in masks, full Eucharist (bread only); congregation in masks with congregational singing (in masks) permitted. Again, windows open, and air circulation via a/c fans or natural ventilation. Full seating no “green” pews.
Gracious Goodies will not be permitted nor coffee hours before or after Liturgies A or B. It may be limited or perhaps offered during C based on transmission rates.
We will once again emphasize using sanitizer. We will once again emphasize social distancing for Eucharist certainly for type B above.
We will all rise above our challenges and worship God in the beauty of holiness; it is, after all, our purpose for doing and being a church.