July 10, 2020

Cathedral Regathering: A Message from the Dean and Chapter

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine: Regathering
From the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine
July 10, 2020

The Cathedral's top priorities include the safety and well-being of its many visitors, congregants, staff, volunteers, and guests. These priorities are in accordance with the Church's Baptismal vows of seeing Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor and respecting the dignity of every human being (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 305). This is ever more true amid the current pandemic.

Beginning July 14th, the Cathedral will open during limited hours, 7:30 am – 1 pm seven days a week, for individual prayer, reflection, meditation and Columbarium visits. Health screenings will be administered upon entrance, and masks and physical distancing will be mandatory. Visitors’ cell phone numbers and email addresses will be collected for contact tracing and communication purposes. Small funeral services and interments in the Columbarium will also resume beginning July 21st.

The Cathedral anticipates resuming in-person services of worship and large-scale events after January 15, 2021, if allowed by governmental guidelines. If an earlier date is indicated, this will be communicated promptly.

Streamed worship will continue to be offered each Sunday at 11 am via the Cathedral website, along with daily Morning Prayer, Monday-Saturday at 8:30 am; Evening Prayer, Monday-Saturday at 5:30 pm; and Night Prayer (Compline), Wednesdays at 8:30 pm.

"A primary concern is the health and safety of the Cathedral community and its visitors, as well as the people of New York," said the Rt. Rev. Clifton Daniel III, Dean of the Cathedral. “It has become clear that for the time being, large gatherings must be suspended until we can come together in physical safety once again. While the Dean and Chapter deeply regret having to make the difficult decision to suspend, for the time being, in-person services of worship and other events, this decision has been strongly informed by local and State government regulations, the situation that is taking place throughout the country and the advice of medical experts. Another part of the decision was recognition of the months of prior planning required for major services and events, including those with large audiences of 1000+ people."

The Rev. Canon Patrick Malloy, Sub-Dean of the Cathedral, added, "Some churches said their faith demanded that they gather for public worship even before the scientists thought it was wise. Our own faith is what convinces us to be cautious about gathering. Jesus says that love of neighbor is the highest human calling, second only to love of God. We have decided to delay because we do not want to endanger the neighbors Jesus tells us to love."

The Dean continued, “These times are challenging for all of us in this city and our nation. This Cathedral has faced many challenging times before: two World Wars, the 1918 flu pandemic, the Great Depression, hurricanes, periods of civil unrest. This Cathedral will be here when the worst has passed and when people can safely come together again. In the meantime, know that the Cathedral is here for you in spirit and prayer. If you desire to speak to a priest about concerns you may have, please call 201-474-5644."

“I hope you will come to visit the Cathedral in the coming days, pray and meditate until we can once again gather in safety in this sacred space and, once gathered, we can say "Hallelujah! Let us give thanks to God for our deliverance!"