A Message from the Dean, the Chapter and Clergy: Resumption of In-Person Services
From the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the Cathedral has worked to adapt its liturgy and services to online platforms, while continuing to plan for a date when these beloved and life-affirming gatherings might begin to safely resume. For many weeks, the Cathedral Chapter and clergy, with the Music Department and the Liturgy Department, have been at work determining the parameters required for the resumption of in-person liturgy.
The safety of our community is one of the Cathedral’s highest priorities, and our goal throughout the pandemic has been to safeguard public health and to be a model of restraint in the spirit of our Bishop’s cautions. With rates of infection spiking again in parts of the country and the CDC warning of a possible fourth surge, we think our decision to delay resuming in-person worship has been prudent. Yet, rates of vaccination are also rising, so we feel confident that can safely resume in-person worship in two phases:
Beginning July 6, the Cathedral will celebrate a weekday Eucharist, Monday-Friday, at 12:15 pm. Masking and physical distancing will be observed. Holy Communion will be received only under the form of Bread. We will gather in the Chapel of Saint James, and attendance will be limited according to public health guidelines. This small weekday gathering will help us to prepare for our larger Sunday services.
We will also allow funerals in the Cathedral, with a limited number of attendees. (We have allowed inurnments in the Columbarium with groups of 10 mourners for the past few months.)
We anticipate resuming in-person Sunday worship on September 12. We imagine two services to start: Holy Eucharist, and sung Morning Prayer. Masking, physical distancing, and other public health directives will be in force.
8:00 am Holy Eucharist with the distribution of the Sacrament in the form of Bread only.
10:30 am Sung Morning Prayer and sermon.
We think it best to resume with Morning Prayer as our main Sunday service for the time being. Choral Morning Prayer is a classic form of Anglican worship and was the mainstay of many Episcopal congregations until the 1970s.
Soon we will invite people to gather on Zoom to discuss and process the impact of this past year and to prepare for re-gathering in-person. We are grateful for the feedback we have already received and look forward to discussing our next steps towards regathering with our wider community.