I am writing today to let you all know that I have decided that we will return to limited in person worship starting Palm Sunday, March 28.
We have now been living under the shadow of this pandemic for a year. The toll it has taken across the world, in our nation, and especially in our city has been incalculable. We have all faced the prospect of illness and death, fallen ill ourselves, and experienced the illness and death of friends and relatives. You have all been amazingly faithful, not just to our parish church, but faithful to Our Lord Jesus Christ who knows what it is to suffer as we do and who loves us and welcomes us, in a phrase of Saint Augustine’s, as citizens of the City of God wayfaring on Earth.
For much of this past year we have been closed for in person public worship in order to keep us all safe and healthy. Recently, cases and deaths have been falling and the work of vaccinating our population has been accelerating. At the same time, cases remain high in New York City and the director of the CDC said just this week that this is not the moment to let our guards down. And yet, worshipping in limited numbers, the way we did in the fall is much less risky than many other indoor activities and I know parishioners will welcome the chance to worship in person again, especially during Holy Week and Easter, and receive the Sacrament.
In the spirit of not letting our guard down, then, we will observe all the same precautions we had in place in the fall, including wearing masks that cover our nose and mouth, advance sign-up, and attendance limited to no more than 35 people at any one service.
At the same time as we open for Sunday Solemn Mass at 11 AM and on Feast Days as announced, we will continue to offer all these services live streamed on YouTube, along with our daily round of services on Zoom. Whether you come and worship in person or join us online, we welcome you with the assurance that you are participating fully in the life of our parish.
Our schedule for Holy Week and Easter will generally follow our usual pattern, although services will be adapted for health and safety reasons and to meet the needs and limitations of our live streaming set-up. I will send you, and post the schedule on our web site, in the coming days.
The Choir of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, under the direction of Organist and Choirmaster Dr Richard Porterfield, will offer the music of the liturgy at all these services and we encourage you to make your Holy Week and Easter offering to support the cost of the choir. The easiest way to do this is on Paypal
Please use the drop down menu and select “Holy Week and Easter Offering”
You can also press the Donate button on the front page of our web site.
If you wish make this a memorial or thank-offering, please indicate in the “Notes” section the names of those you wish commemorated in the leaflets. You can also email the names to me.
Rector, Saint Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church