In response to the COVID-19 outbreak we have suspended all in-person parish events, including worship.  Please click here to learn how you can join us for virtual worship.

As always, we ask folks to use common sense when coming to worship during flu season.  If you are sick, please stay home.

This week, our Diocese sent us some materials and resources to distribute to the congregation related to COVID-19 outbreak.  Links to these resources are below.  There will also be printed copies in the back of the church for the next several weeks.


COVID-19/Coronavirus: Awareness and Response


The World Health Organization has great information on their website (  Specifically the two following flyers:


Helping adults cope with stress during the 2019-nCoV outbreak:


Helping children cope with the stress:

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates:


Rev. Christen and the Wardens are receiving weekly updates and information from our diocese about COVID-19 and how it might affect our parish life.  For more information from our Diocese, please click HERE.


Mandated Protocols as of March 11, 2020


Preparing for a service:

  • Baptismal fonts and holy water stoups are to be cleansed and are to remain empty unless there is a baptism. Ministers of baptism are to wash their hands with soap and warm water prior to the service and use hand sanitizer immediately before the baptismal rite.


  • Altar rails, processional crosses, torches and other liturgical implements are to be cleansed with a disinfectant prior to and after each use.


  • Altar Guild members are to wash their hands with soap and warm water prior to handling communion vessels. 


At the Eucharist:

  • All ministers of communion are to wash their hands with soap and warm water for at least 30 seconds immediately prior to the service, and to use a hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol content immediately prior to the Eucharistic Prayer. If a large number of persons is present, use of hand sanitizer should be repeated during the distribution of communion. If hand sanitizer is unavailable, ministers of communion should wash their hands with soap and warm water immediately prior to handling communion vessels.


  • At the Peace, the people should greet one another without physical touch of any kind. A gentle bow, nod or namaste gesture is preferable. Elbow bumps are discouraged since people are encouraged to sneeze into their elbow to reduce the chance of transmitting the virus.


  • Offering plates are not to be passed among the people. Plates or baskets should be placed in a location where the people may leave their offering. Ministers of communion are not to touch offering plates if they are presented at the altar.


  • The Eucharistic Prayer is to be said as usual, with a single chalice containing a small amount of the consecrated wine to remain on the altar during communion. The consecrated wine should be returned to the earth in a reverent manner, or, if preferred, the celebrant alone may consume it


Concerning the distribution of communion:

  • Communion is to be distributed in the form of . Wafers should be used instead of baked bread. It is perfectly acceptable, and sound theology, for communion to be received in one kind.


  • The consecrated wafer is to be delivered , to avoid the communion minister’s hands touching the mouth of the recipient.


  • When offering a , extend a hand or make the sign of the cross over the person rather than touching them.


Caring for one another:

  • At healing rites, ministers are to cleanse their hands with hand sanitizer immediately before laying-on-of-hands and anointing of each person. Only the designated healing minister is to pray with the person; groups are not to surround the person.


  • Clergy and other , or those in care facilities, are to use hand sanitizer immediately before and after visiting with the sick or infirm person. Anyone who feels or, at any time during the prior two weeks, has felt unwell or run a fever is to refrain from home, hospital or nursing home visits.


  • Respect all of hospitals or other care facilities.


  • Clergy are to respect the of patients and all parishioners at all times and are to .


Strongly Recommended Practices


  • Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content should be made available to all attending church services and events.


  • Remind people to cover coughs and sneezes.


  • Common areas, bathrooms and classrooms, especially handrails, doorknobs and faucets, should be cleaned and disinfected frequently and prior to each gathering.


  • Virtual gatherings** are encouraged where possible. Church or program staff may be encouraged to work from home, provided their physical presence is not required


  • Food served at coffee hour, feeding programs or other gatherings should be in individual servings. If food is not in individual servings, a person wearing a new pair of food service gloves should be assigned to pre-plate and serve the food. Serving utensils should be handled only by the person preparing and/or serving the food.


  • Persons who feel, or within the past two weeks, have felt unwell or run a fever are discouraged from attending church services or events, both for their own protection and the protection of others. If anyone in a household is unwell, everyone in the household should remain at home. In particular, the following persons who are at particular risk from COVID -19 should take extra precautions:

  • Persons age 60 or over

  • Anyone with a respiratory condition such as asthma or emphysema

  • Anyone with an autoimmune disorder

  • Anyone who is undergoing or has recently received chemotherapy



** Some free or low-cost online meeting platforms include: Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, Cisco Webex Meetings, and Microsoft Teams.


Churches that are regularly live-streaming or podcasting services are invited to e-mail details to so that a list can be compiled and shared.


This directive is available in full as a PDF here and on the diocesan website here, where a Spanish-language version will be posted.


O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light rises up in darkness for the godly: Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in your light we may see light, and in your straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 832)


Epiphany Parish is an Episcopal Church whose mission is to come together to worship in the power of Jesus' name, to care for one another and to include all people through our fellowship, education and outreach.


62 Front Street
Walpole, MA  02081

(508) 668-2353

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