17 Mar 2020

Dear Transfiguration family,

We are in brand new circumstances, a situation which none of us have experienced in our lives. But, we have a great history to learn from. In 251 AD, the world was hit with a massive plague. When this disease ravaged the cities, most people fled, leaving the sick and dying behind. But, the Christians stayed and ministered to everyone who was left. Saint Cyprian, the Bishop of Alexandria encouraged his flock while they stood strong in their faith with these words, and we would like to share them with you all:

"What a grandeur of spirit it is to struggle with all the powers of an unshaken mind against so many onsets of devastation and death! What sublimity, to stand upright...and not to lie prostrate with those who have no hope in God; but rather to rejoice, and to embrace the benefit of the occasion; that in thus bravely showing forth our faith, and by suffering endured, going forward to Christ by the narrow way that Christ trod, we may receive the reward of His life and faith according to His own judgment."

In compliance with His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah's most recent directives for our parishes, and the most up-to-date advice from the CDC, Father Patrick and the Parish Council have chosen to take the following measures at Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Ogden. In advance, we acknowledge that these are very unusual, but we would like to err on the side of caution.

- Liturgy will be celebrated on Sundays, but only Fr. Patrick and one chanter will be present, no other parishioners. The doors will be closed to all other in-person participation. We are working right now to establish a live-feed option which will be shared on our parish Facebook page, as well as on our website. When we have that set up, we will share instructions on how to access the feed. This same system will be in place on March 25 for the Feast of the Annunciation.

- All weekday Lenten services will be cancelled - Great Compline on Mondays, the Presanctified Liturgy on Wednesdays, and the Salutations on Fridays.

- If you would like a candle lit at the church, please call or text Fr. Patrick and he will light them for you. His phone number is (419) 234 - 3632.

- All non-liturgical meetings and gatherings are also cancelled.

- Fr. Patrick has prepared a visitation protocol which he will implement, effective immediately.

  1. Anyone who would like a pastoral visit or spiritual guidance and advice should call Father on his cell, listed above.
  2. If anyone would like to receive Holy Communion, it can be arranged with Fr. Patrick, and by appointment either he can come to you, or you can come to the Church to receive.
  3. In the case that Father is called to visit in someone's home, he will bring a freshly cleaned cassock with him, which he will put on when arriving at the home/hospital, and will remove before he leaves - keeping it in a sealed plastic bag in transit and never wearing a "dirty" cassock into a new home.
  4. All implements and vessels will be disinfected when brought in, and out.
  5. Father is willing to come just to the door, or to a window, just to see you and say hello, while still practicing safe distancing.
We continue to pray for our community and for the whole world to be delivered from this, and are working together to come up with solutions as issues arise.

Please download attached prayer service for protection from this virus. Fr. Patrick encourages us all to pray the at-home section every day. At the very least, please read this prayer daily:

"O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in Your ineffable goodness, look down upon Your people gathered in Your name. Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction. You know our weakness. You hear our cry in repentance and contrition of heart. O Lord who loves mankind deliver us from the impending threat of the corona virus. Send Your Angel to watch over us and protect us. Grant health and recovery to those suffering from this virus. Guide the hands of physicians, and preserve those who are healthy that we may continue to serve You in peace and glorify Your most honorable and majestic Name, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen."

In Christ,

The Parish Council