During these months of pandemic, I have so missed being able to celebrate Holy Eucharist together and share in our central meal, and I know that many of you have been feeling the same way. After much prayer and reflection, I have decided to offer communion once a month for as long as we continue our virtual worship services. Consecrating and consuming the bread and wine is not something that clergy can do by themselves; the Eucharistic prayer and the eating of the holy meal are meant to be done in community. Therefore, on the Sundays when our worship service is the Holy Eucharist, there will be a few representative parishioners (with clergy, fewer than 10 people total) in the sanctuary. The first date for Holy Eucharist for us will be on September 6. Please read the following information carefully to learn how you can receive the precious Body and Blood. I look forward to sharing in this Sacrament with you once again.
You have two options:
1. Wearing a mask, come to the River Road door of the church between 12 and 2 PM on Sunday, September 6 to receive communion from the clergy. Social distancing protocols will be in place. An alms basin will be available if you would like to drop off your offering.
2. Immediately following the morning worship service on September 6, communion will be delivered to those who are unable to come to the church to receive. Delivery will be to your front door; no one will come inside your home.
If you would like to have communion delivered to you, you must contact Bill Wilds by Wednesday, September 2. Call or email at 595-0371 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is being done to prevent the spread of COVID as we celebrate Holy Eucharist?
All clergy and lay people distributing communion will be masked. Those receiving the bread and wine will also be masked and will step away to a separate spot to consume the elements. We will be using prepackaged, sealed, single-serving containers of bread and wine, which will be placed on trays on the altar to be blessed. Those who come to the church door to receive communion will pick up it up from a tray; no one else will touch your container. Communion kits being delivered to people at home will be bagged by gloved hands for transportation, so no one other than the recipient will touch the container.
Which parishioners will be in the sanctuary for the service of Holy Eucharist?
Parishioners who will be delivering communion to people’s homes will receive individual invitations to come to the service.
How often will we have a service of Holy Eucharist?
For the time being, while we continue with virtual worship, we plan to offer Holy Eucharist once per month. For home delivery, you will need to make a reservation each time.
If on September 6 I receive communion at my home,
what will that look like?
Sometime Sunday morning, we hope that you will take time to pray through the Holy Eucharist booklet that we will be sending you. Shortly after our online service ends (around 11:30 AM), a fellow parishioner will come to your door with the bread and wine. Your visitor will lead you through the litany found on the next page. (Notice that you already know all of the responses, so you do not need to be holding a copy of the litany.)
For safety, your visitor will remain masked at all times, and you will wear your mask until time to consume the elements. Your visitor will step away briefly when you open and consume the bread and wine.
Please note that your visitor will be bringing communion to other parishioners as well and so cannot stay more than a few minutes with you. He or she will not come into your home.
Litany for home distribution of Eucharist during pandemic
Masks on; social distancing
LEV: The peace of the Lord be always with you.
Parishioner: And also with you.
LEV: Jesus said, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall not thirst.”
LEV: The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ keep you in eternal life.
LEV hands communion package to parishioner and steps 6 feet away to allow parishioner to unmask and consume the elements.
(If at a home with a storm door, the parishioner can simply shut the door and then consume the elements.)
LEV: Let us bless the Lord.
Parishioner: Thanks be to God.