COVID Update From The Dean
Dear Cathedral Family and Friends,
With the emergence of the Delta variant, COVID levels across the nation and in our community have unfortunately risen considerably. Last week, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo raised the county COVID threat level, and the Centers for Disease Control now recommends that all people wear masks in indoor spaces in which the vaccination status of those present is either unknown or known to include a sizeable proportion of unvaccinated people. The vast majority of those attending worship at the Cathedral self-report that they are vaccinated, for which I am grateful. If you have not yet been vaccinated, and you are eligible to be vaccinated, I hope that you will receive a vaccine as soon as possible. The vaccines are miracles of a biblical proportion and gifts from our loving God. Being vaccinated is the most effective means to preserve one’s own health, restore the public health, and express love for one’s neighbor.
Here is a reminder of our ongoing protocols at Christ Church Cathedral.
- We continue to livestream services at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m. Anyone at risk of COVID or who otherwise feels more comfortable worshiping from home can continue to do so. We want you to do whatever feels safest and most comfortable to you.
- Vaccinated worshippers are encouraged, though not required, to wear masks.
- In accordance with the Bishop’s guidelines, anyone who is not fully vaccinated is expected to wear a mask while indoors. This includes children under age 12, who are presently ineligible to be vaccinated.
- There is a reserved section of the nave for those who wish to continue to socially distance in worship. Those who choose to sit in this section are required to wear masks.
- No one should feel obligated to pass the Peace by shaking hands. Passing the Peace with a nod or a “peace sign” is entirely acceptable.
- Worshippers are encouraged to wear a mask to the Communion rail (or Communion stations at The Well) and keep their masks on until the moment they consume their wafer.
- A priest will bring Communion to those who do not wish to approach the altar rail.
- In accordance with the Bishop’s guidelines, intinction (i.e. dipping the wafer in the chalice) is permitted, but we do not drink from the common cup. It also continues to be acceptable to receive bread but not wine.
- All those who sing in the choir must be fully vaccinated. Choir members are encouraged to wear masks, but they are not required to do so.
- Childcare during worship is available for children, infants up to five years old. Parents will sign children in at a registration table, and each child’s temperature will be checked. To preserve the safety of all children, children with fever will not be allowed to stay in the Childcare Center.
- Summer Place, our summertime coffee hour, meets at 10 a.m. in Reynolds Hall and the Cloister. The same mask guidelines that we observe in worship pertain to Summer Place.
May we all continue to pray for those who suffer COVID as well as health care workers who labor for the well-being of our community, and may we each do our part to care “for the least of these” at greatest risk and in greatest need. In this as in all things, the God of grace abides with us.
Grace and peace,
The Very Reverend Barkley Thompson