Coronavirus changes at St. Anna – March 17, 2020

Dear Faithful of St. Anna:

Blessings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ as we continue our Lenten journey through these unusual times. I am sure you all continue to monitor the evolving Coronavirus situation and attempts to mitigate the pandemic facing us all.

In response to government guidance, our Archdiocese has issued new directives for the church in order to do our part to protect our congregations and our communities. Though some of the following instructions may seem drastic, they are prudent and necessary to get to the other side of the pandemic as soon as possible. With that goal in mind, the following directives are implemented until further notice:

1. All non-liturgical activities (church school, meetings, meals, coffee hour, etc.) are cancelled.
2. Services are limited to Orthros/Divine Liturgy (commencing March 22) and Akathist (commencing March 27). Services will be limited to CLERGY and CHANTERS ONLY  “on behalf of all and for all.”
3. Confession will be offered only in case of great, immediate spiritual need.
4. Baptisms are postponed until further notice.
5. In case of a funeral, only immediate family may attend (limited to 10 persons).
6. Service texts for home use will be available on the http://www.antiochian.org website under the Liturgics section.

If you are a chanter and show symptoms of any sickness or are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test for you or a loved one, please stay at home. I will coordinate with John Meese which chanters will be present at each service.

I hope each of you will see this difficulty as an opportunity for a truly meaningful Lenten offering. What could be more of an acceptable Lenten offering that to give up our own will and desires in obedience to the service and welfare of our community?

We are exploring ways to enhance our journey through these times such as video homilies and other communications, as well as providing a list of churches providing streaming services as soon as possible.

Above let us pray for another and take the time to reach out to each other by phone or email. Obviously, I will keep you informed of any changes as soon as they are implemented.

Holy Saint Anna, pray for us!

Fr. Stephen

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