To our Holy Trinity Parishioners,
We are praying that you are all doing well and staying safe.
As you know, our Holy Trinity Church was forced to close in mid-March 2020 due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic and we are now assessing and preparing when our Holy Trinity Church can resume public Church services safely – tentatively on Sunday, June 21, 2020. Since this will be on the Summer Schedule, Orthros would begin at 8:00 AM and Divine Liturgy at 9:00 AM.
Although a number of Greek Orthodox Churches within the Boston Metropolis throughout New England have recently re-opened, the consensus of our Parish Council is that our Holy Trinity Church is not quite ready to reopen at this time. This decision is based on the following:
(1) The Greater Lowell area and Middlesex County is still experiencing a high virus infection rate compared to many other areas in New England
(2) The advice of our local Medical Professionals is that many of our Holy Trinity Parishioners are elderly and are most vulnerable to this current high infection rate
(3) The Guidelines and Protocols (established by Federal, State, and Local authorities, as well as from our Archdiocese and Metropolis) to ensure the safety of our Clergy, Church Staff and Parishioners are not yet ready and in place in our Holy Trinity Church. These are listed on the 2nd page of this letter. These requirements and guidelines have been reviewed by our Church Lawyer. In addition, our Parishioner Dr. Meltsakos has spent considerable time reviewing and inputting these guidelines to ensure that they will afford the maximum protection against this COVID-19 Virus.
Our primary priority is for the safety of our Parishioners to worship. We will also continue to live stream all our Holy Trinity Church services for those who wish to follow the Church services and pray from home. We also encourage elderly parishioners with pre-existing health conditions to also follow our Church services from the safety of their homes.
We thank you all for your patience and cooperation in these unprecedented trying times.
Father Nick and the Holy Trinity Parish Council
These are the following Safety Guidelines and Protocols that are required to be in place prior to reopening our Holy Trinity Church:
(1) According to our State and Metropolis guidelines, only 40% of our Church Seating Capacity can attend at the same time. This means that only 60 people will be allowed to attend Sunday Church Services during this phase of Church re-openings.
(2) Our Church will be thoroughly cleaned before the re-opening. Also, after each service, our Church will again be thoroughly cleaned. We have purchased equipment which will spray disinfectant in all areas utilized.
(3) Face masks will be required to be worn in accordance with state and local guidelines.
(4) Hand sanitizer will be available in the Narthex to apply to your hands as you enter and exit the Church.
(5) Church entry, Narthex activities and Church seating will be at the direction of Parish Council Ushers
(6) Only one person per family is allowed in front of the Pagari (candle purchase/money) counter. To avoid additional “handling” contact, exact amount of candle purchase is recommended to avoid the need to make “change”.
(7) Parishioners can make the Sign of the Cross and bow in front of the Icons but will not be allowed to venerate/kiss the Icons.
(8) Parish Council Members will usher Parishioners into the Sanctuary and assist in seating them. To maintain state and local social distancing guidelines, only every other pew will be used. Those Parishioners who are not with immediate family members will be seated six feet apart.
(9) Bibles and Liturgy books have been removed from the pews and Parishioners may bring their own.
(10) Parishioners wishing to receive Holy Communion will be guided by Parish Council Ushers down the center aisle 6 feet apart from the next person. Immediate family members can proceed together. Face masks will remain on until receiving the Holy Communion after which the mask must be put back on.
(11) Holy Bread (Andithodo) will be distributed in small plastic bags.
You can also download or print this at home if you want.