Church Safety Guidelines

November 7, 2020

Beloved in the Lord,

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present us with many challenges. As a parish community, we want all to attend and participate in the services of our Church as fully and as safely as possible. The following are a list of safety reminders and procedures for the safe operation of our St. Philip community. Please review them closely, as some procedures have changed. We thank you for your patience, your support, and your cooperation with these guidelines.

We wish to encourage all who are in a vulnerable population as defined by the CDC, especially the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, to continue participating in Church services from your home via our YouTube channel. Additionally, regular weekday services will be scheduled to allow those at higher risk the opportunity to worship and receive Holy Communion in a safer environment.


CHURCH SAFETY GUIDELINES

In compliance with the state of New Hampshire and the Metropolis of Boston, we can accommodate up to 50% attendance in the Sanctuary. In the event that capacity is exceeded, our ushers will direct you to the gymnasium where additional seating and a live stream of the service will be set up. A minimum distance of 6 feet between people must be maintained at all times.

ENTRANCE

  • When entering the Church, please wait to be checked in by an usher. The usher will assist you in completing a short contact tracing form and take your temperature. Those with a temperature reading below 100.4 F will be admitted into the Church.

  • Face masks covering the nose and mouth must be worn by all people entering the church. Please note: single-use surgical masks must be discarded after each use. Cloth masks must be washed following every use.

  • After sanitizing your hands, you will be escorted to a seat by an usher.

SEATING

  • Ushers will seat parishioners from the front of the church to the back. Please note that you will not be able to select your own seat.

  • We ask for your cooperation with the ushers as they direct you to the next available seat. People who are not of the same immediate household will be seated 6 feet apart. In order to ensure your family will be seated together, you must arrive together.

MOVEMENT & CONTACT

  • Please refrain from hugging, handshaking, or kissing one another, including kissing of the icons, the cross, the kiss of peace, the Holy Gospel, or the priest’s hands. To venerate the gospel, cross, or an icon, please bow your head reverently and make the sign of the cross.

  • When instructed by the ushers to proceed to receive Holy Communion or Antidoron, please follow the floor markings to maintain a safe distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others.

  • Candles can be purchased in the Narthex, but no change can be given. You may light your own candle or have an usher light it for you.

  • Liturgy books have been removed from the pews. Please feel free to bring your own from home, utilize a digital resource, or call the office for help purchasing a book.

HOLY COMMUNION

  • Parishioners are asked to follow the directions of the ushers, and proceed down the center aisle with their mask on, utilizing the floor markers to remain 6 feet apart from the next person.

  • We ask that you lower your mask at the moment of receiving, then replace your mask immediately after receiving.

  • Please tilt your head back, open your mouth wide, and Holy Communion will be placed into your mouth.

DISMISSAL

  • Parishioners are asked to follow the directions of the ushers, and proceed down the center aisle. Fr Nicholas will distribute Antidoron using tongs.

  • Parishioners are asked to exit the church using the side door on the left of the church.

WEEKDAY INFORMATION

  • Please remember that the church building and office is open by appointment only during this time. Both Fr Nicholas and our office staff are readily available to assist you, but we request that you make an appointment, either by phone or email.

These guidelines have been developed in compliance with state and local mandates, the guidance of the Metropolis of Boston, our Parish Council, and the support of medical personnel in our community. We thank you for your cooperation and adherence to these procedures in order to keep all members of our community safe.

We look forward to the day coming soon when we can all physically come back together. In the meantime, we continue to lift each other up in prayer, with one voice and one heart as we praise and glorify our great and most high God.

With love in Christ,

Rev. Fr. Nicholas Livingston Thanasi C Liakos

Priest Parish Council President