01 Oct 2021
To the fellow parishioners of Saints Constantine and Helen, West Island, Montreal.
Following the announcement by the Québec government for the current Green Zones, our church will be open to our parishioners with the following guidelines:
- We must adhere to the government guidelines which authorize us to have Divine Liturgies with limited number of attending faithful. Our church capacity based on the required 1 m distance will vary between 70 and 90 persons (depending on the numbers in a family bubble that may be sitting together). In addition, about 10 persons are needed as essential personnel, consisting of the volunteers, members of the Council, the Philoptochos and the Youth, the priest, the sexton, altar boys and the chanter, all necessary in order to ensure the normal proceedings to take place in applying the government guidelines.
- For the safety of all parishioners and those who assist in the liturgical services and all volunteers, we recommend that everybody takes the available vaccines. Those that refuse to take the vaccine must keep the required distance at all times. They are still vulnerable to be infected by carriers (even if vaccinated)
- Both on Sundays and on the weekdays the Orthros and the liturgy will start at 9 a.m. Vespers will start at 6 or 7 p.m. Refer to the monthly Liturgical Services program.
- The admitted parishioners will be on a first come first served basis. As soon as you enter the church you must sanitize your hands and keep wear a mask at all times till further notice. If you cannot bring your own mask, free masks there will be available at the church entrance.
- Make sure you have sufficient change for candles, as we try to reduce the use of change.
- We urge you not to kiss icons, but if you do, someone will sanitize the icon glass frequently.
- There will be a marked sign where you may be able to sit. Available volunteers will assist you to the appropriate available seat.
- Only 5 single persons are allowed to seat in every second pew, so we may respect the 1 m distance from your neighbor. Members of the same family may be seating close together, but the next person sitting next to them must keep the distance of 1 m.
- Holy Communion will be given at the end of the liturgy. When coming for Holy communion you must keep the 2 m distance in the aisles. As there will not be a red cloth available, make sure to open wide your mouth to receive communion without spilling the Holy gifts. If a number of persons remain outside because the maximum capacity of participants in the church has been reached, they may remain outside the church or in their cars and wait until the admitted to the liturgy parishioners leave the church after the liturgy, at which time they may enter to pray and receive communion if they wish so.
- Mnimosyna with kollyva can be held during the liturgy, with the understanding that only up to 10-15 persons next of kin may be present, provided that they arrive before the number of participants reaches the maximum capacity of 70 persons. There will be no seat reservation. Make sure to arrive early before the number of 70 persons’ capacity is completed, if you want to be present at the Mnimosyno. Till further notice, no kollyva may be distributed to parishioners inside church. Arrange to bring for pre-packaged kolyva. We request that you distribute the kollyva outside the church or take the tray of kollyva to your home. Mnimosyna can be arranged after the liturgical mass for a specific group of persons (up to 70). Till further notice, there will be no service of coffee at the church basement hall for Mnimosyna and Funerals.
- Please write clearly on the envelopes and in the note inside the envelope if this names are to be read for: Yper Anapafseos, Mnyimosyno, Trisagio, Trisagio with kollyva. For Mnimosyno write clearly the name of the deceased and the period: 40-day, 6-month, year etc.
- You must leave the church without delaying your departure at the vestibule as soon as the liturgy is over.
- The liturgy will be transmitted live-streamed in our Facebook and it will be heard in the parking lot through our external speakers when possible. If church is full of faithful, there will be no live-streaming.
- Sacraments: Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals may be conducted with a limited number of 70 participants, after consultation with the priest and the secretariat of the church. A registry will be required of all names of the persons that will attend a Wedding, Baptism, Funeral or Special Memorial Service.
- There will be no access to the kitchen or to the hall of the church. Toilettes in the basement are available. We kindly ask that individuals using the toilettes take appropriate sanitary protection when entering and exit the bathrooms.
- We appeal to your understanding in putting to practice these government guidelines. Please note that the government guidelines may change at anytime. We understand that they are imposed in order to protect us from the harmful effects of spreading the coronavirus. Our goal is to take back our lives and move slowly towards normality, safely taking care of each other.
We pray that this may be the last phase of measures and that following this round of precautions we may return to our normal church life and enjoy unreservedly our fellowship and communion in Christ our Saviour, by gathering without fear around the Eucharistic table of His living body, His Holy Church.
Father Lambros Kamperidis
President. Costas Calogeropoulos