Dear Parishioners of St Nicholas Cathedral!
This upcoming Sunday June 28th our beloved Cathedral will once again open its doors to the public albeit in a limited capacity restricting the number of people attending at any one divine service. You can be assured that our efforts are focussed on being as efficient as possible with your personal safety being a top priority. Gradually, as we move forward the number of people permitted to attend at any one time will increase from 25 to a total of 75. Initially we will begin with the weekends but very quickly services will start to be celebrated during the week for important Saints and major feast days.
There will be several rules and guidelines that will be followed so as to fully comply with Government regulations. An operating protocol is in place to insure we stay open in the event of a second wave of the virus. What may seem excessive at this point will go a long way to make sure we achieve this most important objective. A plan with multiple phases has been developed to gradually return our parish life to normal. Separate communications in the near future will be provided.
The key points are:
1) To enter the church building a face mask is required which must be kept on at all times; 2) Social distancing, which is maintaining a two meter distance is absolutely mandatory, the
only exception will be for families living under the same roof.
3) All persons who wish to attend any scheduled service must be registered, ideally in advance.
We absolutely must respect our capacity limits. You can register on-line, or by emailing or calling Father George. This procedure will go a long way to help avoid any disappointments at the door of the church. The registration will help in the event of infection to quickly advise others who were in attendance at that time. This is mandatory.
4) Washroom facilities will be modified and a maximum of two people or a family can enter at any one time. We will have somebody on duty monitoring compliance.
There will be two divine liturgies served every Sunday during the hot summer months; one at 7;30am in the Main Cathedral and the second at 9:30am in the Parish Hall which is Air Conditioned. This is being done for two reasons; to maximize the amount of people that can attend services and to provide a safe environment for those who may find it difficult wearing a face mask in the high heat and humidity.
What to expect:
1) Once you have registered and arrive at the church you will be greeted at the front entrance where you will be asked several screening questions related to your health condition. So as to avoid any disappointment at the door you should not come to church if you have any of the following symptoms:
a. Fever, chills, cough, runny nose or nasal congestion, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of smell or taste.
2) Then you will have to sanitize your hands using the disinfectant provided.
3) You will be able to purchase candles as usual.
4) We ask that you do not venerate icons by kissing them.
5) At end of the liturgy the cross will not be offered for veneration but you will be given antidirion
by the priest who will be wearing gloves for your protection.
6) At the end of the service you should immediately exit as directed by those on duty. Those
attending services in the parish hall will exit by the doors as indicated. We ask that you respect this so as to allow those on duty to begin disinfecting procedures which take approximately one and half hours to complete.
Our Seniors Sixty five years and older, and Young members with ages up until seven.
1) We are planning to organize separate liturgies which will be restricted to those 65 years and older. Please stay tuned for dates and times.
2) For families with young children, you will have an additional option. Due to capacity restraints it may not be possible to attend on a regular basis. To allow your children to partake of Holy Communion as often as possible you will be able to stand outside in front of the church and wait until the end of the divine liturgy. At that time, you will be able to enter as a family or one by one for your children to commune of the Most Precious Divine Mysteries. While outside the church you must continue to maintain social distancing, but a face mask will be optional until you enter the building.
Hearing of Confessions:
1) These will only be heard, without exception before the beginning of the divine liturgy. Gradually our priests will also be able to hear confession during the evening services. You can also make an appointment to meet a priest or you can call by telephone.
Panahidas, Molebens, Baptisms and Weddings:
1) We request that you speak directly with one of our priests to make arrangements. It will not be possible to serve these after the divine liturgy at this point in time.
We thank you for your continued patience and prayerful support.