A Letter from Father Alexander During Shelter-in-Place
Beloved in Christ Parishioners,
Given that the current restrictions placed upon us will remain in force through Pascha this year, the practices adopted at Sts. Peter & Paul Church will also remain in force as well. Additionally, a number of specific issues will be addressed as follows:
|During the Shelter-in-Place, as always, all our services are live streamed. Just go to our website, www.stspproca.org, and click on “Service Live Stream” under the “Streaming and Prayers” tab. To view previous services, click on “Service Archive.”|
- We will continue to conduct services in church according to our published schedule (with one major exception, noted below under Item 6) with an absolutely minimal staff and streaming them live on the Internet at: https:// stream.streamingchurch.tv/ stream.php?churchid= church8703.
- In accordance with the above-referenced orders, the church will remain closed during all services, and I encourage all of our parishioners to stay home and participate in our services online with the same reverence as if you were physically in church. By not coming to church, we will be complying with the orders of our civil authorities and remain in obedience to our Ruling Bishop. While extremely difficult to accept these new—God willing, temporary—circumstances, especially at this most holy time of the year, it is imperative that we do not demonstrate the slightest disrespect or disobedience to these directives. To do so may result in the cessation of services altogether.
- For those who have ordered kulichi, pascha, or tvorog or who wish to pick up verbiy (pussy willows), we will have two opportunities to do so: Saturday, April 11, and Sunday, April 12, between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. only. Please wait in your cars to be called into the church hall to pick up any of the aforementioned items. The verbiy will be blessed and laid out on a table for you to choose. A donation basket will be provided. Please do not touch any of the verbiy unless you are picking them up to keep. The other items noted above will be set out in labeled bags near the kitchen for you to pick up. If you still need to pay for these items, please bring your checkbook to leave a check. Wearing gloves for this will be an excellent way to protect yourselves and one another from the spread of any germs.
- The church will be open for individual veneration of the Holy Shroud (плащаница) after the vespers service Friday afternoon (April 17), approximately from 4:00 p.m. until the General Confession at 5:30 p.m. Individual veneration will also be allowed on Holy Saturday (April 18) from the end of Liturgy (approximately 12:30 until 3:00 p.m. Again, please remain in your cars until you are called into the church.
- The general blessing of the Easter cakes (kulichi) and other foods noted on the April calendar will not take place this year.
- The Paschal Matins service (Пасхальная заутреня) ONLY will be conducted (and streamed) at the normal time, beginning at 11:25 p.m. Holy Saturday evening. The Paschal Liturgy, normally celebrated immediately afterward, will instead be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Sunday morning (April 19). Everyone—especially those who have not normally stayed for this most important Liturgy—should “attend” online Sunday morning. Those wishing to receive Holy Communion must be properly prepared, as always, and not forget to remain fasting after the Paschal Matins service the night before. It is expected that the Liturgy will not be long, and that people should be at the church for Communion, waiting in their cars, by about 11:30 a.m.
- Once again, I wish to reiterate the previously addressed admonitions to all of us regarding personal hygiene, awareness of one’s surroundings while going out to conduct “essential” business, and keeping safe distances between ourselves and others—especially when on church property or in the church buildings for your short visits.
- While we are all under these sheltering orders, I again ask that you stay in touch with one another by whatever method you choose, to make sure that everyone is alright, to see if there is anything your fellow parishioners may need, and to be ready to help each other out in whatever way you can.
- Most important, I strongly urge all of our parishioners to regularly “attend” every service we will be streaming to your homes, to continue your lenten efforts, and to pray most fervently that Our Merciful Lord will hear our collective voices in prayer, safely guide us through these difficult times, and allow us to prayerfully commemorate His Holy Passion and joyously celebrate His Bright Resurrection.
With Love in Christ,
Prot. Alexander Krassovsky, Rector