Covid-19 Safety Directives and Policies at St. Mary Orthodox Church

Last Updated: May 30, 2021

Read Past Letters from the COVID Committee

The complete set of directives is as follows:

Capacity and Registration:

  • Beginning May 30, 2021, there are no longer any capacity restrictions and parishioners no longer need to register to attend services in person. All are welcome to attend in person!

Arriving at the Church

  • Our parish's doors will remain locked at all times. For divine services, a designated representative from our parish will be at the front door to begin letting those scheduled to attend starting 15 minutes before a service begins.
  • Those attending divine services must arrive no later than 10:30 a.m. on the date you are scheduled to attend Sunday liturgy, or 30 minutes after the start time of any other liturgical service. After this designated time for each service, there will be no one available to provide you access to the church.

Face Coverings

  • All unvaccinated individuals, including children five years of age or older, must wear masks while inside the church. However, if you are vaccinated and intend to sing during the divine liturgy, you must do so with a mask on.
  • Vaccinated individuals who are not singing are no longer required to wear a mask, but may do so if they so choose.
  • The mask should not have a valve (which may make breathing a little easier, but also makes exchange of germs easier).

Appropriate Social Distancing

  • Beginning May 30, 2021, there are no longer designated locations for seating.
  • There will be no access for any reason to the hall area, church offices and/or the kitchen. Children under 12 years of age are to be escorted to the bathroom by an adult.
  • There will be no hugging, handshakes or kissing, including kissing of icons, the cross, gospel and/or Father Antony’s hand. To appropriately venerate the gospel, cross or icon, please bow your head.

Communion Procedures

  • For Communion and Dismissal, follow the instructions of the ushers.
  • Communion will continue in accordance with the church’s tradition. Tilt your head back and open your mouth wide to allow Father Antony to pour the Body and Blood in; do not close your lips on the spoon.  Do not wipe your mouth with the communion cloth after receiving communion. 
  • The Antidoron (holy bread) will be handed to you by Father Antony or the altar server.
  • Father Antony will be wearing a face mask during the distribution of communion and during the dismissal for his protection and the protection of others.
  • Communion will continue in accordance with the church’s tradition. You must allow Father Antony to pour the Body and Blood by opening your mouth wide and not closing your lips on the spoon.

We ask for your patience and that you respect these directives and strictly comply. These directives and restrictions are necessary to protect the health and safety of Father Antony, our altar services, chanters and those laity in attendance.

For Those Not in Attendance

Our services will continue to be available by live stream. Visit our live stream page for the video player, Social media links, and additional information.

Additional Information

The spiritual conversation of confessions may be done either over the telephone with the absolution prayer being given in person with physical distancing or all in-person with physical distancing. The stole will not be placed on the penitent’s head.

In the event you have any questions and/or concerns, please call the church office or Mary Winstanley O’Connor at (781) 641-2967.