COVID-19 Precautions at St. Philip's
Updated: Mar 27, 2020
As most of you know, last Sunday we responded with prudent measures as we gather as the Body of Christ for Holy Eucharist. They are as follows:
Intinction, the process of dipping the blessed wafer into the communion cup has ceased. However, the common cup is still available to those who desire to partake. Studies have never linked transmission of viruses to the sharing of the common cup at communion. Rest assured that if you are only receiving the blessed wafer, you are receiving Jesus and the grace of Holy Communion—taking both the bread and the wine is not a requirement. If you do not wish to take from the common cup simply cross your arms over your chest when the cup passes you.
All members of the altar party are using hand sanitizer following the Peace and before the Altar is prepared for Communion.
I encouraged each of you to pass the Peace with elbow bumps instead of handshakes and hugs. Some may feel even more comfortable with a simple bow.
Holy water fonts and stoups have been emptied for the time being. Please feel free to still cross yourself as you enter St. Philip’s to remind yourself of your baptism, the holy water will be back when it seems prudent.
It is important to understand that these actions are for the safety and well-being of not only our local body of Christ at St. Philip’s, but for the sake of the entire community. We are in fact living out the Baptismal calling to “respect the dignity of every human being” and of “loving your neighbor as yourself.” We are people of faith, but we are people of faith endowed with human reason and the will to make decisions to glorify God. So, we are in a time in which faith alongside a measure of prudence is certainly in order. Also, please know that I’ve been working with our Sexton to implement further cleaning and sanitizing procedures during this time of heightened awareness. For those preparing for upcoming Lenten Luncheons, please take every prudent precaution in the preparation of food items, making sure that all cooking and preparation implements are thoroughly cleaned. And, please, properly wash hands often for the sake of everyones' health. We want to be a community of Jesus followers that looks after the safety and well-being of our neighbor, because we love and care for them as Jesus Christ loves and cares for them—they’re created in the same image of God that we are! Please feel free to send me any questions or concerns you may have and do not neglect to pray for the situation surrounding the Coronavirus disease and those affected. Lenten blessings,
Fr. Justin Briggle +
Rector, St. Philip's Episcopal Church