Armenian Apostolic Church

We are prepared for you

Dear St. James Parishioners,

Since the re-opening of our church last summer, we have used an on-line sign-up for parishioners to sign up in advance to attend Holy Badarak and other church services.  We appreciate our parishioners using this sign-up system over the past year, as it has helped us to plan and prepare for each Sunday and other services.  Starting this week, we are no longer asking parishioners to sign up in advance.  We are still adhering to State of Illinois capacity restrictions, and we’re maintaining other safety precautions at church, including mask requirements and social distancing.  In addition, please continue to fill out an attendance sheet when you enter the church.  This is very important as it enables us to maintain a record of church attendance in the unfortunate event that we ever need to do contact tracing due to COVID-related issues.

Thank you to all of our parishioners for making it possible for St. James to conduct safe and welcoming services!

Phase Two allows for Holy Badarak in the Church Sanctuary with a limited number of participants, as permitted by local regulations.  For now, we will allow a maximum of fifteen people to attend Badarak on Sundays.  This is in addition to Der Hayr, and a limited number of servers (including Deacon, Organist, Acolyte, and two Parish Council members).

To make your participation safe the Parish Council has implemented the following:

  • Do not come to Church if you or a family member are sick
  • Sign-in sheet at the entrance to document each parishioner attending Badarak.
  • Hand sanitizer in several locations outside of and within the sanctuary.
  • Required masks for all parishioners.
  • Gloves for Parish Council members laying out candles.
  • Marked areas per pew to ensure six feet between non-family members and 12 feet between choir members and other parishioners.
  • Garage door opened to restrict flow of traffic and increase air flow within the sanctuary.
  • Restriction of kitchen usage and water fountain usage.
  • Restricted access to the hall and downstairs.
  • Removal of pew books and other papers from the pews.
  • Additional cleaning of the sanctuary.

For the safety of our worshipers the following modifications are in place for Badarak:

  • Worshipers must refrain from any contact with others who are non-family members.
  • Venerate without approaching or touching the processional cross; do not kiss the hand cross during the procession.
  • A Parish Council member will assign each parishioner a pew.
  • The Kiss of Peace is to be conducted by bowing the head toward others, without approaching or touching them.
  • Confession will be done in place at each pew.
  • Worshipers will stay in their pews during the confession and will be additionally instructed how to receive Holy Communion.
  • Masks must be worn at all times, except if receiving communion.
  • Worshipers should sing along only in a whisper to minimize any possible transmission of disease.
  • Instead of passing a collection plate, the faithful will be invited to make a free-will offering at the beginning or conclusion of the Badarak in the plate.
  • “Mas” will be prepared in advance by Der Hovhan, with mask, sanitized hands, and generally exercising extreme caution. 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. (available on the Google Play Store (Android) and on the Apple App Store (iPhone, iPad).
  • Sunday bulletins will be placed on each seat prior the start of the Badarak.
  • The Parish Council will dismiss parishioners after Badarak one-by-one.
  • Parishioners must exit the Church immediately upon dismissal.  The hall is off limits at all times.

These guidelines and changes for Badarak are also detailed in the attached two-page document, which you may wish to print and save for your use over the next few weeks (click here to access the document).

We are looking forward to worship with you in our Holy Sanctuary.

Sunday, April 18 – Holy Badarak at 10 AM

Wednesday, April 21 – Intercessory Prayer Service at 8 PM

With  prayers,
St. James of Nisibis Armenian Church