Here at Transfiguration, we are very grateful for the spirit of cooperation we have experienced in keeping everyone safe. However, all the indica-tions are that COVID 19 and the consequent restrictions (masks and social distancing) needed to protect ourselves will be with us for a while. It might be tempting for us to let down our guard, to become weary and a bit complacent as this drags on. But gathering in groups, as we do in church, does bring a bit of a risk. I want to keep all of us as safe as possible, grateful that we gather and pray together. So just a few reminders:
1. If you are ill, especially with respiratory symptoms, as an act of charity, especially to those who are more vulnerable, it is certainly better not to be in groups during that time.
2. All persons are required to wear masks, covering nose and mouth. I certainly understand the discomfort and that some people prefer a face shield, however, parishioners have expressed concern to me when masks are also not worn or at the occasional times we take down the mask.
3. Social distancing will remain in place until we are told that we do not need to do it. We estimated early on that we could seat 75 people in church, but that number was built on certain seating arrangements. In reality it seems a bit lower, more like 60-65 people at any Mass. We are able to have 50 more people in the parish hall, where the mass is livestreamed and communion is brought. We are anticipating that we will need this option more and more, especially during the holidays, when (we hope) more people will want to come to Mass. We are grateful for your cooperation with the ushers.
4. We invite you to sing, but not too robustly. Singing loudly can put more particles into the air. Sing like you would speak.
5. Our new procedure for coming forward for communion seems to be working well. It allows for us to have just one line coming forward through the center aisle. You can help by making your hands as flat as possible when receiving communion. Cupping your hands makes it a bit more difficult to avoid an inadvertent touch. Receiving on the hand is the safest for all of us, but if you do need to receive on the tongue, we would appreciate it if you would come forward at the end to avoid the possibility of spreading any germs resulting from an inadvertent touch.
6. Please be mindful of the need to social distance as you enter and depart from church.
Once again, thank you for your cooperation in keeping us all as safe as possible.