On Tuesday, the Executive Archdeacon circulated a notice to the parish clergy in response to the government’s announcement that the indoor mask mandate would end as of Saturday, May 14. From that point on, there will be no formal restrictions from either government or diocese as to how we conduct our worship services and other aspects of parish life; how we proceed is up to us.
Needless to say, we at All Saints’ will in fact still be taking some precautions for the foreseeable future. After consultation with the Corporation, here is a list of what will and won’t change as of this weekend:
Masks: we will still be masking while inside the church building. However, from May 15 onward, those who are at a microphone and at least 6′ from the rest of the congregation (readers, intercessors, and officiants/celebrants) will be permitted to unmask while speaking. Microphones will be sanitized between users.
Ventilation: we will continue to open the windows when feasible, and to investigate further options for improving the ventilation built into our HVAC system.
Offertory: as of now, we will be returning to passing the plate at the Offertory and bringing up the gifts (bread, wine, offerings, and food donations).
Choir: depending on numbers and the comfort level of those involved from week to week, the choir may stay in the back pews or return to the choir stalls.
Common Cup: we are eager to return to giving everyone full access to the Eucharist in both kinds, but we realize that this is probably something that needs to be taken slowly! For now, the 8:00 service will be given the option of receiving the wine, but we will hold off at the 10:00 service until I return from vacation and French immersion in September.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!