In-person services during Fall of 2020

A reminder that in-person worship will shortly be authorized to resume, under strict conditions; for an initial trial period, in-person Mass at St Stephen’s will take place twice a week:

  • Wednesday, 12 noon, beginning on September 16th
  • Saturday, 12 noon, beginning on September 19th

The Saturday Mass will, as long as weather permits, be held outside, in the Bellevue courtyard.

Our Sunday morning service will continue to take place on Zoom at 10:30 am every Sunday, with a livestream to Facebook, and later posting to YouTube. This service will include more music, and a longer homily.

We ask that you do not attend both in-person services unless you have a specific, assigned role. While we normally encourage frequent church attendance, it is important, at this time, to keep numbers limited. Decide which day will be more convenient for you, and attend on that day as consistently as possible.

If you can, please let us know in advance when you will be attending, so that we can ensure adequate spacing. You can e-mail, or call Mother Maggie or Janet at the numbers listed below.

No one should ever feel required to attend in-person worship if they do not feel safe doing so, or if they find Zoom services preferable at this time.

At least for now, the in-person services and gatherings will look very different from our previous pattern of worship. The following precautions will be observed during in-person worship (this is not an exhaustive list, but only those things which you most need to know in advance):

  • Names and contact information will be collected from everyone attending.
  • If you feel ill in any way, you are asked to refrain from attending in-person worship.
  • Masks which cover the mouth, nose, and chin will be required at all times, including during the outdoor service on Saturday. If you do not have a mask, we will have some reusable cloth masks which can be given out, and then collected for washing at the end of the service.
  • There will be no choir or congregational singing, and the homily will be brief.
  • Everyone will remain at their seats for the exchange of the peace, and greet each other with nods, waves, or similar gestures. There will be no physical contact between people, except those who are members of the same household.
  • There will be no passing of the collection plate. Offerings may be left at the welcome table, which will be attended at all times. Detailed instructions for the reception of communion (bread only) will be given at the beginning of the service.
  • Children who attend must remain with their families.
  • You must maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from anyone other than members of your household at all times; the single exception will be when you approach the priest to receive communion. You will see that many chairs have been removed from the nave, in order to assist with physical distancing.
  • There will be no coffee hour or other social gathering after the services.

We will continue to revise this plan as the public health situation develops. If we are able safely to expand in-person worship, we will do so. We are also aware that it may become necessary to suspend in-person worship again, if the situation worsens. We will keep you informed of all changes.

Whichever worship option you choose, in person or on-line, we will be happy to see you!

Mother Maggie Helwig | 416-526-5438
Janet Nichols, Parish Administrator | 416-738-6915
Leroy Niles, Rector’s Warden
Katherine Belyea, People’s Warden