Dear Cathedral Family,
This Sunday is the feast of the Day of Pentecost, when the great fifty days of Easter come to an end. Truly a “red letter” day, it is the celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit, the opening of the way of eternal life in God to all people. We remember that not only on that original day of Pentecost following the resurrection, but in the here and now the Holy Spirit comes to inspire and empower us to share the Good News of God in Christ.
This year’s Day of Pentecost is an occasion for particular rejoicing, as we give thanks for the waning of the pandemic in our community and look forward to a new chapter in our life together as the Church. As I shared with you last Sunday, our bishop as altered our present protocols to say that “people who are fully vaccinated may participate without masks” in indoor worship. He has not yet made other changes in our protocols, but this one change is cause for great rejoicing. Of course, we will need to exercise continuing care for those who are not yet vaccinated, or who are not yet able to be physically present for worship. We will continue to live stream and record our worship.
Some other changes that will begin this week are that we will no longer have “assigned” seating and will not have an online “reservation” process. Alternating pews will be marked “open” in order to facilitate social distancing, and ushers will distribute bulletins as you arrive. In addition, we will begin this week to come forward to receive communion in one kind—not yet all the way up to the rail, but meeting the celebrant at the bottom of the chancel steps. Ushers will “tap” pews.
We have lived through a long eighteen months of uncertainty and constant change, and many of us are weary souls. This Sunday will indeed be a time for us to rejoice in the power of the Spirit.