April 17, 2021

Local Churches Plan to Celebrate Easter Today with Careful Attention to COVID Guidelines

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.com.

LYME/OLD LYME — The churches of Lyme and Old Lyme are all hosting Easter Sunday services today with strict adherence to COVID guidelines and protocols, but, in each case, the service will look a little different.

Full details of  each church’s service and the expectations if you wish to attend in person are given below, along with the respective Zoom links if you opt to join the service virtually.

Christ The King

Easter Sunday, April 4
Mass of the Lord’s Resurrection
Masses at 8 and 10:30 a.m.

Regarding Communion at Christ The King: The practice of distributing Communion at the end of Mass, after the Concluding Rite, will be continued. This allows everyone to leave immediately after receiving the Eucharist, so as to avoid large numbers of people leaving the church at the same time. Please come forward in a single line, keeping six feet between you and the person in front of you.  (Follow the tape marks on the floor.) Please continue to wear your mask until you receive.

Seating capacity at Christ The King: Even though the governor has relaxed the rules on capacity levels for churches, six feet of distance must still be allowed between individuals or family groups. This means that it will not be possible to seat as many people in the church as usual.  The parish hall can, however, offer distanced seating and a large screen television for viewing the Mass. Communion will be distributed there.

At the Easter Vigil and on Easter Sunday morning, ushers will assist with seating, remind everyone about safety protocols, and — when the church reaches capacity — direct people to the parish hall. In the event that the hall also reaches capacity, congregants will be asked to return to their cars to view the Mass on mobile devices, so be prepared for that possibility.

All who wish to receive Communion may come inside at the end of Mass when Communion is distributed.

The obligation to attend Mass remains dispensed until further notice. There is no requirement to attend in person. If you prefer to stay home, join the church’s live stream on Zoom by using the links on the church website.

First Congregational Church of Lyme

Easter Sunday, April 4
Easter Sunday services will be held both on Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3295485601) and in person with some specific conditions.  These steps are being taken to ensure that worship is as safe as possible.

    • All the windows in the church will be opened to increase air flow.  It might be chilly.  You are encouraged to wear a coat or bring a lap blanket to increase your comfort level.  This might be especially important for younger children.
    • Masks will be required.
    • Households will be allowed to sit together, but with 6 feet of distance between household units.
    • There will not be singing, but there will be special music.
    •  Communion will be held, but the elements will be pre-placed in the pews, not passed through the aisles.
    • There will be an offering, but the baskets will be placed at the entrance and exits, and not passed through the aisles.
    • Worshippers are asked to enter through one door and leave through the other.  The correct doors will be marked.
    • The annual Easter Egg Hunt will follow the service, but there will be a gap in time between the events.  If you are not staying for the egg hunt, congregants are asked to go to their car so that there is not extra overlap between the groups.
    • Anyone feeling sick is asked to worship with those in church on Zoom rather than in person.

First Congregational Church of Old Lyme

Easter Sunday, April 4
Easter Sunrise Worship Service Video
In lieu of a live, outdoor Easter Sunrise service this year, a videotaped sunrise service is offered that can be viewed on the church’s YouTube channel.

Easter Sunday Worship Service
Live Outdoors at 10 a.m.

On Easter Sunday at 10 a.m., a live, outdoor service will be held on the front lawn, following public safety guidelines. If you wish to attend, you must call or email the church office at 860-434-8686 or fccol@fccol.org to reserve your space:

  • Give your name, the number of people in your party, and indicate whether you all belong to the same household (and thus can be grouped together).
  • Leave your phone number or email address so the church can contact you to confirm your reservation.
These are the details:
  • Squares will be traced on the lawn, spaced 12 ft. apart. Individuals or families, who make a reservation, will receive a square to sit in during the service.
  • Each square is limited to the members of a single household; and people must remain inside their square at all times in order to maintain social distancing. Congregants are welcome to bring lawn chairs to sit on and a blanket to wrap up in if it is unusually cool out.
  • The number of squares is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • If there are no open squares available, people are welcome to stand along the sidewalk – spaced 6 ft. apart from others.
  • Everyone must observe social distancing.
  • Masks are required. The church will have extra masks and hand sanitizer on hand.
  • The church’s bathroom facilities will not be open.
  • While the service is open to all, everyone is urged to exercise all appropriate caution and reasonable judgment about whether they personally should attend.
  • A video of the service will be posted on the church’s website, Facebook page and YouTube page – along with a written version of the sermon and the Order of Worship for the service.
  • In case of inclement weather, a church leader will communicate 24 hours in advance about how the service will occur, i.e., live and outdoors as planned, or online instead.

Easter Sunday Coffee Hour on Zoom
A virtual Coffee Hour will be hosted on Zoom at 12:30 p.m. Zoom details here.

Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church

Easter Sunday, April 4
Sunday of the Resurrection

Following guidelines from the bishop and safest practices during a pandemic, social distances will be maintained and all are required to be masked. To make room for everyone who wishes to attend in person on  Easter Day, one Easter Sunday service will be held on the front lawn at 9:30 am.

If the weather makes it impossible to worship on the front lawn, a notice will be posted on the church website at 8:30 a.m. The recorded service will be available at that time as well.

Bring your chair and prayer book. This outside service will be filled with Easter music, prayer and spiritual communion.

All Zoom link information may be found on the church’s website.

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