Dear Cathedral Family,
It is Christmas, at last.
We have approached this Christmas season with much joy and eager anticipation, as the condition of our life together has improved so dramatically since this time last year. Travel and family gatherings have returned, and our Christmas plans look more “normal” this year.
This includes our Christmas worship here at Christ Church Cathedral. The popularity of our mid-afternoon Christmas Eve Family Eucharist continues, and this earlier gathering at 3:30 p.m. for worship is now a regular part of our Christmas experience. Our traditional Festival Eucharist will continue at 5:30 p.m. with musical prelude beginning at 5:00 p.m. On Christmas Day, we will gather for a smaller, quieter Eucharist at 10 a.m. Both the 5 p.m. and the 10 a.m. services will be live streamed.
Like most of you, I have been following closely the development of the new Omicron variant of Covid and watching as cases rise in the United States. We have all been hopeful that our area would avoid an increase in cases this holiday season. Unfortunately, I have been advised by local health care professionals that we may be seeing a rise in positive tests sooner rather than later.
Given this new reality, after conversation with lay leadership, I am asking you to accommodate a few precautionary adjustments to our worship for what we pray will be a short period of time. None of our service plans will change, but I would urge those of you at particular risk to exercise your best judgment in making prudent choices about where and how you gather over the holidays, including at in-person worship. For those of you who will be attending in person, we are asking you to please, once again, wear a mask during indoor worship. We will come to the rail for communion, and the cup will be available for those who desire it. However, please remember that communion in one kind (bread only) is completely valid and is the safest choice at present.
We are all weary of the ongoing pandemic and more than ready to be free of its restrictions. We give thanks for the return of cherished traditions this Christmas, and our gratitude encourages us to exercise all the precautions in our power to ensure the health and wellbeing of our loved ones.
Now, more than ever, we need the Good News of Christ’s coming among us; we need the angels’ message of peace and goodwill among all people; we need the new life and hope that the Messiah brings. May you know God’s peace in this season of light.