As I was preparing myself to get St. Luke’s nimbly prepared for the state’s new loosened mandates about COVID safety coming out on June 1st, I was caught off-guard by this week’s announcements that masks would no longer be required by the state when we are outdoors in small gatherings.
The diocese has provided guidance: we need to stay masked any time we are moving or singing. So we need to stay masked before the service, after the service, and for the times we sing.
I can’t quite wrap my mind around the idea of waiting until everyone has secured their mask to begin to sing (“Fred, the worship can not continue until ALL of us have our masks on.” “Ethel, do you remember you need to put your mask on?” “George, you can’t find your mask? OK go to the usher table and get a new one. We will wait…”).
I don’t want the role of Mask Monitor, who reprimands people for getting up after worship before putting their mask on.
My right role at worship is to be the celebrant, the worship leader, the pastor — and being thrust into the role of Mask Monitor takes me out of those primary roles.
We need a little bit of time to think through how to take this next step well.
So, for the moment, for this Sunday at least, we will continue to wear our masks for worship.