Dear Members, Parishioners and Friends,
We hope this letter finds you safe and well as the States are opening one-by-one and trying to get back to the new
“normal” after the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have been given the Blessing by his Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel to begin re-opening of our Parish. He has
provided the Parish Council with guidelines that must be followed which He received from the Holy Synod of Bishops.
Just to clarify, these are not local rules and regulations; these are guidelines issued by the Episcopate and State for every
Church in North America.
Upon a thorough review of the directives and having in mind everyone’s health and well-being, Father Onisie, the Parish
Council and the Ladies Auxiliary President set the date for the re-opening of St. John the Baptist Romanian Orthodox
Church in Woonsocket at June 21, 2020 (at 9:30am, summer hours). Besides Father Onisie, the permanent staff
required for each service includes 2 Cantors, 2 Ushers and 1 Epitrop; there will be only 20 additional openings available
for each Holy Liturgical Service at this time.
To keep to this limit, participation in services will be by reservation only. Please send an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place in Church.
For any questions/clarifications regarding the reservation or if you don’t have access to a computer/smart phone please
call Georgeta at 401-769-4718.
The weekly reservation sign-up period will be from Monday until Friday, which is the deadline to send an email to the
church office to make a reservation for the upcoming Sunday. The reservation must include the signed “Sign-in sheet
during COVID-19 Pandemic” (a liability waiver). This form is a mandate during this partial re-opening phase.
The 20 Parishioners that will be able to attend the Liturgy, will be chosen on a first come first serve basis determined by
the reception time of the email. Whoever does not make the Liturgy for a particular week, can have the option to be
amongst the first on the list for the following week; hopefully this will allow for a majority of our faithful Parishioners to
be able to partake during this phase.
Families should please indicate clearly how many family members will be coming.
Adult children or friends of the elderly who do not use email are asked to inform their parents/friends and send an email
to the Church office on their behalf if they wish to participate.
The Parish Council Secretary (Georgeta Gassey) will send you an email verifying your reservation and indicating which
Liturgy you will be participating in. If you are scheduled to attend Liturgy but become ill in the meantime, please do not
come to Liturgy and notify Georgeta so we can inform the next available registrant so they can participate.
Please make sure that you have a reservation and a signed liability waiver when you come to Church. If you do not
bring it or we are at the capacity, you could light a candle, but cannot stay in.
Everyone is responsible to read the entire information distributed and familiarize themselves with the protocols in place.
A copy of the “Sign-in sheet during COVID-19 Pandemic” is included on the mailer and can be downloaded from the
Church’s Website www.stjohnroc.org . Each person needs to present a signed sheet for each service attended.
Directives for the re-opening of the Church:
1. It is still recommended that anyone over the age of 65 or who has a serious health condition remain home. If
you or anyone in your household has a cold or flu like symptoms, or is generally not feeling well, please stay
home and attend the Liturgy online.
2. All worshippers must bring a mask or face covering and wear it at all times while in the Church.
3. For children between ages 2 and 5, the wearing of a face covering or mask is at the discretion of the child’s
parent or guardian. Children under the age of 2 should not wear a face covering or mask.
4. Hand sanitizer will be provided when you enter and exit the Church.
5. When entering the Church, a Parish Council Member serving as an usher will direct you to the designated pews
to seat you.
6. Attendees who are not part of the same immediate household must be seated at least 6 feet apart – there will
be markers on the pews and the designated Parish Council members will help you with this.
7. Families may sit together in the same pews with no social distancing between them.
8. To appropriately venerate the Icons, Gospel, and Cross, please limit yourselves to a reverent bow of your head
and make the sign of cross.
9. To comply with the aforementioned State regulations please refrain from handshakes, hugging or kissing and
respect social distancing guidelines.
10. Prior to sitting, everyone can still purchase candles from the Epitrop at the candle stand. All candles will be lit
and placed where the Parishioner wants it by the Epitrop only. Also, you can pay for your candles ahead of time
through the Website www.stjohnroc.org , on the “Virtual Candle”.
11. No service books will be distributed or left out for common use.
12. The Church’s windows will remain open during services to allow airflow.
13. Holy Communion: Communicants may remove their masks only momentarily to receive Holy Communion,
Communicants may neither touch the chalice nor the priest. The priest will be wearing a mask while distributing
Holy Communion. At this time, Holy Communion will be distributed in the traditional manner. The red
communion cloth will NOT be used. Any questions, please contact Fr. Onisie directly.
14. Tape will be placed on the floor to provide the spacing for social distancing for the Communion and antidoron
15. The antidoron (anafura) will be distributed at the end of the service, as usual, only that will be placed on a tray
individually packed on sealed bags.
16. The donation basket will not be passed prior to Lord’s Prayer; we ask that you make your basket donation at the
time you purchase the candles or after you receive the blessing and pick up the antidoron. You can offer a
donation through the Website www.stjohnroc.org , on the “Virtual Basket”.
17. We will not have communal gathering pre or post service (e.g., coffee hours or other food services).
18. There will be no access for any reason to the hall area and the kitchen. During this phase, please do not bring
any food or drink to the Church.
19. Our services will continue to be available by live stream, you can watch them on the Website www.stjohnroc.org
(Media, Livestream) or directly on Facebook.
20. The Church will be cleaned and disinfected between each service, including disinfection of heavy transit areas
and high-touch surfaces (e.g., handrails, doorknobs, bathrooms).
21. Memorials will be offered, please contact Father Onisie and Secretary Georgeta to book a date. Please inform
us ahead of time how many people will attend so we can make special accommodations, if necessary, and to
make sure that everyone of your guests signs the liability waiver. Please remember, we will not be able to
distribute the wine, the wheat and the bread (necessary for the memorial service) in our traditional way inside
the Church during this time.
Please understand we are not trying to alienate anyone from coming to Church!
Thank You for your understanding, these are temporary regulations that we must follow for contact tracing and the
health and safety of everyone that enters the Church. Once we move forward to the next phase, some of the
restrictions will be lifted and relaxed; these will be updated to our entire Community when they are received.
Any questions you may have regarding this, please do not hesitate to ask Father Onisie or the Parish Council President,
God Bless All of You!
Father Onisie, the Parish Council and the Ladies
WELCOME to the web site of St. John the Baptist Romanian Orthodox Church. On this site you will find information about our parish community and our programs and ministries. The Saint John the Baptist Romanian Orthodox Church is a parish under the jurisdiction of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America. We are located in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, and although we have a small community, we try to maintain and enforce our Orthodox traditions, as well as work towards parish growth. Our doors are always open to all people who want to learn our faith and grow in Orthodoxy.
BINE ATI VENIT pe site-ul Bisericii Ortodoxe Române Sfântul Ioan Botezatorul, Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Sperăm că informaţia de faţă vă va face o impresie bună despre familia parohiei noastre, şi vă invităm să ne vizitaţi şi să vă alăturaţi nouă dacă sunteţi in căutarea unei case spirituale. Uşile noastre sunt deschise tuturor - atât credincioşilor născuţi în America cât şi în România - care doresc să trăiască şi să înveţe Sfânta Credinţă Ortodoxă: Credinţa lăsată de Hristos apostolilor Lui, iar de la aceştia prin Biserică, peste veacuri, nouă astăzi
We are pleased to have you visit our web site. We hope that your visit will give you a glimpse of the Orthodox Church through the parish community of Saint John the