Guidelines for Holy Eucharist Rite II in the Sanctuary

Beginning on Sunday, August 16th, we will hold an indoor Holy Eucharist Rite II service Sundays at 10:00 the sanctuary.  This service will also be live streamed so that those who are at home can participate.  Information about access to the live stream will be circulated soon.

Here is what to expect at this service:

General Restrictions

Please note that all public health guidelines apply at all times, everywhere on the St. John’s campus.  This includes wearing masks covering mouth and nose at all times, social distancing, and using hand sanitizer.

Consistent with New York State Guidelines, please do not attend service if you are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test or if, at any time during the last 14 days, you:

  • have had any COVID-19 symptoms;
  • have had a positive COVID-19 test; or
  • have had close contact with any confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case.

Should you find out within 14 days following the date of your attendance at a service that you have a positive COVID-19 test result or were in close contact with someone who had COVID-19, please contact the Rev. Lisa Mason to let us know the details so that we may inform others if appropriate.

Please note that these guidelines apply to every person in your attendance group.

Attendance Lists

Under New York State Guidelines, we are required to make and retain a list of everyone who attends each worship service or gathering.  Click here for the Signup Genius through which to sign up for the service.

Entrance and Exit

There will be two ushers to meet you outside the main (i.e., Fountain Square) entrance to the church to ensure social distancing while you are waiting to enter and to record your name.  In general, the only point of entry will be the main entrance, but alternate entrance options will be provided on request for those with mobility issues.  We will begin seating from the front of the church, working our way back, to reduce people passing others.

At the end of the service, people will leave out one of the side doors at the front of the nave, depending on which side of the church they are seated, from the front seating to the back, again to minimize passing others on the way out.

Social Distancing Protocols

We have adopted the following arrangement in order to ensure plenty of distance between the leaders of the service and congregation, as well as among members of the congregation.  We have 20 “half pews” available for seating:  we are using staggered halves of every other pew, beginning with the pew that is second from the front of the church (e.g., Pew #2 – half pew near center aisle on left side and half pew near side aisle on right side; Pew #4 – half pew near side aisle on left side and half pew near center aisle on right side).  There will be only one family in each half pew.  As a result, the maximum permitted number of attendees will fluctuate depending on the number of members in each family group.  For example, if each attendee is coming alone, the maximum number of attendees will be 20; if all attendees are husband and wife, the maximum number will be 40; etc.  Under New York State Guidelines, the total number of attendees may not exceed 80.

Singing and Reading

There will be no congregational singing.  Instead, there will be soloists who will be 12 feet from any other person.

Readers may participate from their homes, if they so choose, and will be heard by those in attendance and those at home.

Sanitation Precautions

There will be no handouts at this service.  Please either print out the PDF bulletin from the e-mail you receive on Saturday or bring your phone or iPad. Please remember that all sounds must be turned off prior to entering.

The HVAC units currently servicing the sanctuary have been equipped with Nu-Calgon ionic air purifiers.

Worship spaces will be disinfected between gatherings using Simoniz Quat 32 and REDI SAN RTU Hard Surface Sanitizer.  Hand Sanitizer dispensers have been installed by all doors, as well as in the bathrooms, parish hall and offices using Ecolab DigiSan hand sanitizer.


We will administer communion with bread only.  I have included below the detailed description of this process from the bishop.  The celebrant will administer communion standing in front of the first pew, communing first one side, front to back and then moving to the other side, again to avoid as much passing as possible.  Gluten-free wafers will be available, as well. Communicants will receive the bread with cupped hands, with the celebrant dropping the wafer into their hands, thus avoiding direct contact.


Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or for more information.





From the Bishop: The Holy Eucharist

As you know, only communion in one kind (the bread) will be permitted at this time. The cup will be introduced when we can establish practices which are certain to be safe, and we should all expect that that is going to take some time. I am also aware that there are worries about administering the bread too. A great number of proposals have come to me or circulated on social media about devices or tools for “touch-free” administration of the bread: tongs, dixie cups, and the machine which some have dubbed the “pez dispenser.” These innovations are not allowed, and it should be noticed that these focus only on developing a technical strategy for getting a piece of bread into another person’s mouth, and are not at all about the love, trust, vulnerability, tenderness and connection which underlie what we mean when we say “communion.”

Please administer the eucharistic bread the way we have done throughout our history, which is hand-to-hand (communion bread placed on the tongue is for obvious reasons forbidden). I am convinced, as are Bishops Allen and Mary, that good practices can enable us to do this safely.

There are certainly different ways to do this, but many clergy have asked for specific guidelines, so I would commend to our clergy:

Place the communion wafers (not pieces of “real” bread) on a paten, covered with a linen, and placed on the altar to the side of the fully-masked celebrant, outside the direction of his or her speaking voice, with only the priest’s host exposed. After the breaking of the bread, the priest’s host would be consumed by the celebrant alone, and not shared. A small amount of wine should also be consecrated, and consumed by the celebrant alone.