During Phase III of the re-opening plan for St. Martin’s, the celebration of Holy Communion will be a little different from pre-Covid 19 times. We can all gather safely for the Eucharistic meal if we observe the following:
1. Self-monitor to ensure you are healthy and wash your hands thoroughly before arriving at the church. Bring your own mask if possible to wear during the service.
2. Sanitize hands and check in with the sidespersons.
3. Make your way up the centre aisle to an available seat marked by green tape. Please move to the side location if you are the first person in the pew.
4. At the time of communion, beginning from the front of the church, those who wish to receive will be invited to come up to the chancel step single file and physically distanced. Keep your mask on. You will be receiving in a standing posture. You may wish to sanitize your hands again before coming forward.
5. The priest will distribute a blessed wafer into your outstretched hands without touching. The priest’s hands will be sanitized and she will be wearing a mask for this portion of the service. You will not be receiving the blessed wine, but communion in one kind is fully sacramental and conveys the entirety of God’s blessing.
6. Take your blessed wafer back to your seat using a side aisle. Once you have returned to your seat you may remove your mask and consume the host reverently. Replace your mask for the remainder of the service.
7. If you do not go forward to receive communion, please allow anyone else in the pew with you to go forward by stepping into the pew behind your seat, while observing as much physical distancing as possible. Return to your seat after the other person has gone forward.
In the Anglican Church of Canada, the normal practice is for baptised Christians to join in the Eucharistic sacrament. During this time of increased health concerns, individuals may decide to abstain from this practice for personal reasons and there is no obligation to come forward for the host or a blessing. You are blessed by being part of the Body of Christ whether you are physically present or joining remotely through Zoom or YouTube.
As in our previous phase of protocols, all attendees are asked to sing in our hearts but not with our lips during the musical portions of the liturgy.