My Beloved in Jesus Christ Our Lord,
It goes completely against my desire to share the Bread of Life, the Eucharist, with my flock, but after reviewing our new guidelines from the Eparchy and our Apostolic Administrator I do not see any other option but to close attendance to our celebration of the liturgy and reception of communion this Sunday and until conditions improve. This has been a very difficult decision that has involved many phone calls, emails, texting, prayer and reflection. Again, there will be no public distribution of the Most Holy Eucharist to the faithful. Unless you have been specifically asked to assist in the liturgical celebration I must ask you to attend our liturgy via our live streaming link and make a spiritual communion (see attached).
We will continue to evaluate State and Eparchial regulations and guidance on a weekly basis. As soon as we are able we will invite you to return home to your church and once again receive the body and blood of our Lord.
It feels difficult to have to ask for donations at this time, but even amid this pandemic, the post office has not stopped bringing the bills to the parish office. In order to have a church building in good repair waiting for you upon your return, please continue to send your tithing in the mail to the church. You may also try our new online tithing platform and save yourself the stamp. It may be accessed at: https://stjohnchrysostom.org/one-time-donation/
(Editor’s NB, you can also setup recurring monthly or weekly donations on these pages: https://stjohnchrysostom.org/weekly-tithe/ or https://stjohnchrysostom.org/monthly-tithing/ )
- All of the faithful are dispensed from the obligation to attend Divine Liturgy on Sundays and Holy Days.
- All other parish activities are to be suspended.
- The Mystery of Repentance (Confession) can be celebrated so long as there is adequate ventilation and a minimum 6 foot distance between the priest and penitent. This will be done by appointment only – 206-329-9219
- The faithful are encouraged to view/listen to/observe celebrations via live stream (or video)
- Churches or chapels can remain open for private prayer with proper protocols regarding social distancing to be observed. This will be by appointment only for management purposes.
- At present, this policy affects the celebrations of Holy Week and Pascha, but this will be reviewed and a final decision made no later than April 3rd.
Out of obedience to our Church authorities and concern for everyone, we will not be holding any public liturgies at the parish until we are authorized to do so.
Most humbly in Christ,Fr. Michael
Glory to Jesus Christ!
My Beloved in Christ Jesus Our Lord,
As we are faced with this most unusual event, the spread of the novel Coronavirus, (COVID-19), we at St. John Chrysostom Parish must respond accordingly
It is with a very heavy heart, and much agony, that I must inform you that we are cancelling all weekend liturgical services and events. This will be in effect for the next two weekends, at which time it will be re-evaluated. This includes the Burlington Outreach. This cancelation is specific to our parish in Seattle only, not the rest of the Eparchy. St. George parish in Olympia also has been required to cancel liturgical services this weekend as well.
The Presanctified Liturgies at St. John’s for this Friday, March 13th and next week Wed/Fri March 18/20 are also cancelled.
Although our community is under the 250 people limit set by the State, we will not be able to meet their ‘social distancing requirement.’ You can read of this online at the Washington State website. With the size of our Temple, this is not possible, even if only half the people showed up. Based on the tremendous phone calls I have been receiving these past two days, we would be overwhelmed by Catholics from other parishes.
All parishioners of St. John Chrysostom Parish have received a dispensation for their required Sunday observance. However, I ask each of you to read the Sunday Epistle and Gospel readings and pray a desired set of Psalms together as a family. The readings can be found on your parish calendar.
The Divine Liturgy is live streamed at our Cathedral Parish of St. Stephen Cathedral in Phoenix, AZ, on Sunday’s at 10:00 a.m. Phoenix time. https://stsbcc.org/media/live-stream
We are working on an alternative scenario, but have not yet finalized it.
Truly these are strange times, we should be able to come to church and pray during these difficult times, but that has been prohibited. So, let us keep one another in our prayers, stay faithful and steadfast. As Jesus says, “Be not afraid;” “fear is useless, what is needed is trust!” No one is exempt from praying, so pray, pray, pray! And please, a pray for me.
Fr. Michael Mandelas, Pastor
St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church