In mid-July, after four months of “e-worship,” the Cathedral introduced an in-person Sunday service, accommodating up to 50 people in total. Now, in late August, most of our staff are working at least part of the time on site. And while we continue to offer many meetings and educational events electronically, we have also begun to conduct some meetings in person and on site.
All these actions have been undertaken in accordance with protocols established by our diocese, and in turn, have been specifically approved by WorkSafe BC.
We now feel ready to begin an incremental expansion of our offerings.
We plan to do this in three ways.
Beginning in October, in addition to the 10.30 eucharist, we will add an opportunity to attend Evensong in person. Spaces for this service will be available in exactly same way as for the morning eucharist – by following the registration links on the cathedral website, or calling the church office. Our maximum attendance remains at 50, so it is advisable to reserve a space in this way.
Also beginning October 4, Evensong will be livestreamed. This means if you are watching from home, you can join the service “live” when it starts, or you can wait until it is over, and watch it later. But you won’t be able to watch it ahead of time, because it won’t have happened yet!
In addition, also starting October 4, Evensong will begin a half hour earlier, at 4.00 p.m. If we start earlier, we’ll end earlier, and we hope this will be an attractive option in the late fall and winter for those who would appreciate not having to go home in the pitch dark. Also, an earlier start will give a little more time to host the occasional social time or recital after Evensong without encroaching on the dinner hour.
The Daily Round of Prayer
The recitation of the daily offices (morning and evening prayer) has been the special responsibility of cathedrals for centuries, and this cathedral has proudly played its part in this tradition. Beginning September 8, we plan to start saying Morning Prayer again. We will begin gradually, praying the office on Tuesdays only. This short service will take place at 9.00 a.m. in the Lady Chapel, and lasts about 20 minutes. It is not necessary to pre-register for this service: all you need to do is come.
Opening to the public
Since we will already be opening the cathedral doors on Tuesdays for morning prayer, we’ve decided to try leaving the cathedral open to the public on Tuesdays until noon. We are looking for people who would be willing to take a 90-minute shift welcoming visitors and monitoring attendance. If this is something you might enjoy, please be in touch with our administrator, Jennifer LeBlanc ([email protected]).
We are proceeding with these changes on the basis of our successful experience to date. This said, we are prepared, if necessary, to reverse ourselves on a dime – whether this is because our public health officials offer new guidance, or because we ourselves determine that these changes are too much to handle. Many things matter right now, but at the top of our list is the well-being and safety of those entrusted to our care at Christ Church Cathedral. - MAT