Life in the pandemic has brought liturgical innovations to in-person worship that were previously unimagined. There are the new accoutrements of worship — masks, sanitizers, and Eucharistic pincers (see picture below). And there are new practices — receiving only the bread at communion, sitting at least six feet apart from one another, waving or nodding at the peace.
One of the biggest changes is in how we consecrate the bread (or wafers). Our new diocesan Covid protocols require us to consecrate the wafers at least three days before the Sunday service, then individually package each wafer (by people wearing gloves). The pre-consecrated wafers are then distributed at communion on Sunday with the Eucharistic pincers.
Why not pre-package the wafers before the service and then consecrate them on Sunday morning, you may ask. Good question. I’ve asked it, too. The response was that there are some who question the efficacy of consecration through a zip locked bag.
Since we believe that the resurrected Jesus could suddenly appear in a locked room and just as suddenly disappear, I really don’t think a ziplock bag would be much of a challenge for him. But those are the rules, and we will follow them. (On Sunday mornings I am consecrating my wafer and a little bit of wine.)
The new guidelines mean that as long as we are able to have in-person services I will be consecrating the wafers every Thursday. Communion is really not something one does alone, so I would like one or two people to be present with me for the Thursday consecration, which I plan to do at 1 p.m. You’d be present for the Eucharistic prayer, receive communion, and then help package the wafers (wearing gloves, which we have). Cathy Leake has offered to put together a schedule of people willing to do this. If you’re interested please contact.
One other change for Sundays is that you now must RSVP for worship. That is for two reasons. First, we’re only allowed to have 50 people present. And second, we must have assigned seating (bring your own chairs) so that we can later do contact tracing, if necessary. Here is the link to RSVP for this Sunday: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050f49aca822a1fd0-church2
We also still need three people to spend the night with Family Promise the week of November 1. We need volunteers to stay at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church in Dunwoody on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights of that week. You will stay in a room separate from the wing the families are in. The families are self sufficient, so you likely would not have contact with them unless there is an emergency. You can sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0b48aaa72ba2fa7-family19