Armenian Apostolic Church

General Guidelines and Policies for Phase 2

General Guidelines and Policies for Phase II at St. James

We ask that all parishioners follow these policies for our current phase of limited parishioner attendance for Holy Badarak at St. James:

  • Please do not enter the church if you or a family member is not feeling well, or has a fever, or has recently been ill. No one belonging to a high-risk group, no one who feels sick in any way (not just with the symptoms of COVID-19), should participate in badarak or enter the church.  It is highly recommended that the same restriction should apply to anyone over the age of 60.
  • Wear a mask or other face covering and avoid coming into physical contact with anything in the church except candles and pews. A limited number of facemasks will be provided for those who do not arrive at church with a mask.
  • Parishioners may light candles without touching any other object. We have arranged individual candles for you to use.
  • Inside the church, please visit only the sanctuary and, if necessary the restrooms. The rest of the church has been blocked off.  Do not enter the hall or kitchen, and do not use the water fountain.
  • Please maintain a physical distance of 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) between oneself and any non-family members who are present, including Der Hayr, Deacons, Acolytes and Parish Council members, and please follow requests from Parish Council members within the church.
  • Please do not embrace or touch anyone else who is present.
  • We trust that no one will arrive at church with a cough or a stuffy nose. But should you cough or sneeze at church, please cover your coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands).
  • We will keep a record of visitors to the church with names, dates, email addresses and phone numbers, for the purposes of contact-tracing in case of infection.
  • We will provide hand sanitizer at the entrance of the church and at other locations within the sanctuary, to be used by all on entering and departing the church and during badarak as warranted.
  • The front door to the church will be attended by a parish council member wearing gloves, who will open the door for each visitor in order to prevent individuals from touching the door knobs.

Guidelines for Badarak

  • Worshippers must refrain from any contact with one another.
  • Venerate without approaching or touching the processional cross; do not kiss the hand cross during the Procession.
  • We will conduct the Kiss of Peace by bowing our heads toward others, without approaching or touching them. Parish Council members will not visit each pew.
  • Worshippers are advised to sing along only in a whisper to minimize any possible transmission of disease.
  • Worshippers will stay in their pews during the confession and will be additionally instructed how to receive Holy Communion, for those who wish to receive Communion.
  • Instead of passing a collection plate, the faithful should be invited to make a free-will offering at the beginning or the conclusion of the Badarak in the plate which will be at the front of the church.
  • “Mas” will be prepared in advance by Der Hovhan, with mask, sanitized hands, and generally exercising extreme caution.  With gloved hands, Der Hovhan will place “mas” in individual packages and place it on each seat well before the start of the Badarak.
  • Pew Books and Bibles are temporarily removed from the pews. Electronic version of the book is available in the KIRAKI mobile app.
  • Sunday bulletins will be placed on each seat prior the start of the Badarak.