COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS IN EFFECT AT THIS TIME
(Updated May 2022)
Although positive test results and hospitalizations appear to fluctuate widely in our area, we are open for in-person worship at this time, and we hope this will continue indefinitely. A number of reasonable and sensible precautions are in effect. Please see the following questions and answers, and don’t hesitate to contact the Church Office if you have any additional questions or concerns.
Should I come to church or stay home?
If you know or suspect that you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should not come to church for at least ten days after the most recent exposure. In addition, any family members who live with you should also refrain from attending until ten days after their exposure to you. If you stay home, please join us on Facebook, either live at 9:30 AM or at a time of your convenience by viewing the recording of the service.
Am I required to wear a mask in church?
St George’s Church is located in the northernmost section of Allegany County, Maryland. We are distant from the cities of Cumberland and Frostburg, but some members travel to our church from those cities. The county’s status with regard to the risk of COVID transmission rises and falls seasonally and for other reasons. Therefore, the advice to wear a mask is subject to change from time to time. In general, we try not to place undue burdens on those worshiping with us.
You will be informed by the usher if we are in a time when masks are required or strongly recommended. We provide a separate seating area for those who cannot wear a mask for any reason. Please cooperate with the usher’s directions.
However, if you are not fully vaccinated and boosted, or if you have an underlying health condition that places you in a vulnerable situation, please wear your mask for your own protection. This also applies if you live in a household with someone who meets theses conditions.
Where may I sit?
Please continue to maintain the distancing indicated by the blue tape. Members who live in the same household may share a pew. All others should choose a separate pew.
What should I do at the Sign of Peace?
Continue to safely greet others without making physical contact or moving away from your pew. A nod of the head, wave, or peace sign are all appropriate. Family members may safely contact each other only.
How should I receive Holy Communion?
All are invited to come forward to the altar rail and either kneel or stand there to receive the Body and Blood of Christ. If you are unable to come forward, please remain in your pew, and the sacrament will be brought to you there. If you are able, please stand to receive when the priest and lay eucharistic minister approach your seat.
Keep in mind that the Church has long taught that the fullness of Communion (the Body and Blood of Christ) is always received, even it you only take it under one form (either bread or wine alone).
Therefore, you may choose to receive only the Host (bread), or to receive both the bread and wine. To receive the wine, you may drink from the common cup, which is wiped and rotated after each person. Alternatively, you may receive by intinction, which means dipping the Host into the wine. If you choose to do this, take extra care to ensure that your fingertips do not touch the wine.
Finally, those who wish to come forward to receive a blessing or spiritual Communion should do so and cross their arms across their chest.
How may we socialize outside the service?
Outdoors, masks are optional but may be worn if you prefer.
Indoors, if you are wearing a mask, keep it on. If you are not wearing your mask and you want to speak with someone who is wearing a mask, ask if they would prefer you put yours on.
At the monthly coffee hour after the service, please do not serve yourself. The host will ask what items you want on your plate and place them there for you. Please do not lean over the food dishes, and do not stop to engage in lengthy conversation at the serving line. Remove your mask while eating, but replace it afterward.
For meetings: if everyone is fully vaccinated, masks are optional if there is unanimous consent to do so. Refreshments may be provided, but cannot be self-service.
If you have any questions, please ask Father Tom.