His Eminence Archbishop Melchisedek has issued a directive that effective immediately all parishes of the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania are to immediately cease all services, activities, social gatherings, etc. with the exception of the following:
Each parish priest may open his church on the coming two Saturday afternoons (March 21 and March 28) for two to three hours of his choosing for the faithful to come and offer a private prayer and light candles. While we are not encouraging people to do this in light of the governmental guidelines, it is realized some people will gain much strength from this visit. It is imperative that people in high-risk categories (i.e., senior citizens/individuals with on-going health problems/people not feeling well currently) not consider this act. Individuals are reminded to maintain “social distancing” during this visit and avoid interacting with large numbers of people.
Holy Trinity’s “open houses” as described above are 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday and next.
His Eminence’s directives go on to say:
Except for so-called “death-bed confessions,” confessions are suspended until this period of time has concluded. (This, of course, does not preclude informal spiritual discussions between our priests and our parish penitents via the phone and emails…)
You can reach the parish’s clergy through the Parish Office—814-231-2855 (phone); email@example.com (text/email)—which remains open with as regular hours as possible should a need arise in our parish family or the broader community. While routine pastoral visits are to cease per His Eminence’s directives, our clergy, following proper personal safety protocols, are still available to you to respond to any emergency situation requiring immediate pastoral attention.
Attached is a service that can be prayed by the faithful of the Archdiocese regularly in front of their prayer corners concerning this virus. The Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Ellwood City, while closed to visitors during this period as per Holy Synod directives concerning all OCA monasteries, will probably continue to live-stream the monastery’s services; their web address for more info is: orthodoxmonasteryellwoodcity.org.
The work of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church continues even though we cannot gather as Christ’s people. With Fr. Ignatius’ blessing Matthew 25 met virtually earlier today with the deacons to postpone the Lion’s Pantry Drive and Soup-er Sunday to the Sundays of October, but will continue to offer immediate assistance to the State College Food Bank and other charities. We will have more on this in letters to the parish and in the April Trisagion, but in the meantime, please remember the parish through your stewardship if you are able.
UPDATE (July 17, 2020): The parish is no longer asking that attendees voluntarily limit attendance in the Nave to 50% of capacity—the alternative locations in the Parish Hall and Trinity House proved to be not conducive to worship. Although service attendance will not be capped in any way at this time, the choir has been moved to the front of the Nave to provide even more space for spreading out.
In addition, Fr. Ignatius Hunter now asks that every medically-able adult and child over the age of 8 wear a face covering upon entering the State College church as a voluntary act of self-sacrifice for the unity and good of the community. There is a supply of masks available in the Narthex for your use.
UPDATE (May 26, 2020): With Centre County moving to the Green Phase of Reopening on May 29, 2020, the parish’s regular worship schedule will resume with Great Vespers on Saturday, May 30, 2020, at 6 p.m.
In addition to the measures put in place in March 2020 (see the ORIGINAL POST below), the following additional measures are temporarily being enacted to allow all to participate in the liturgical life of the parish (parishioners and visitors alike) according to their personal consciences and preparedness:
Even though religious organizations in Pennsylvania are technically exempt from the Governor’s mandates, Holy Trinity will continue to not only practice the heightened sanitation protocols set forth immediately before the closure (see below), but also ask parishioners and visitors to voluntarily follow the Commonwealth’s guidances according to their consciences and abilities.
So all are able to make “a sacrifice of praise” (Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom) Sunday Typika services will continue to be available. To ensure Communion is available to all parishioners who have prepared themselves through prayer, fasting, and recent confession, Fr. Ignatius will distribute the Eucharist by appointment to those unable to physically attend on Sundays (for whatever reason). This will be done primarily at the church throughout the week, using PPE upon request.
The weekly bulletin will be posted online and available to download to your mobile device via a scannable QR code. (Yes, Father is allowing you to use your phones and tablets in church for holy purposes only! 😇). Printed bulletins will be placed in the tract rack, located on the south wall of the Narthex.
Finally, because we will be worshipping in several locations (at home, the Parish Hall, Trinity House, on church grounds, etc.), Coffee (Fellowship) Hour will be discontinued until further notice. The parish will also schedule Virtual Coffee Hours from time to time.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Church Office at (814) 231-2855. Our clergy and ministry leaders are here to serve you. Thank you to all who kept vigil at home during the pandemic, allowing the parish’s mission to continue unabated.Read more here.
ORIGINAL POST (March 13, 2020): In accordance with guidelines released Friday, March 13 by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, Fr. Ignatius updated parishioners, guests, and visitors on measures now in place to ensure that the parish continues praying for the health and salvation of the world, while at the same time adopts common-sense, temporary precautions to limit the spread of infectious disease.
The worship schedule remains unchanged and all faithful not in a high-risk category are encouraged to offer thanksgiving to our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ, and receive His Holy Mysteries. However, it is imperative that anyone who exhibits symptoms of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (a.k.a. COVID-19)—fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.—self-quarantine for fourteen days. Father also fervently asks you to seek medical assistance and let a member of the clergy know if this is the case so that they may provide you pastoral support and visitation to the furthest extent possible.
There will be no changes to the way Holy Communion is administered, however, the parish is adopting the following changes through at least the end of March 2020 (in addition to the aforementioned guidelines mentioned above):
Antidoron—the blessed, but not consecrated, holy bread taken to cleanse one’s palate after receiving Holy Communion—will be cut and distributed by one healthy adult only, who has prepared himself according to the parish’s standard practice (washing of hands and application of hand sanitizer); as opposed to the open bowls on the sides of the church.
To minimize the amount of surfaces touched, our Greeters will assist by opening the main doors of the church for you, and the doors leading into the Nave will remain open for the entire service. (To create a prayerful atmosphere for all, parents with young children are asked to give them their necessary breaks in the Nursery, which is located at the east end of the Parish Hall; audio from the service is piped in.).
Fr. Ignatius can bless you over the head with the Cross at the conclusion of each service, as opposed to the traditional hand blessing. The veneration icons will remain in place—and they will continue to be cleaned as usual—but you may reverence them by simply bowing before them, if you so choose.
Sunday School will resume March 15 and remain in session during this time, but teachers will sanitize all classroom surfaces before the start of class.
Bagel service has been discontinued until at least Sunday, April 5, and the rest of Coffee Hour will be scaled back to include only coffee and items that are served by hosts wearing gloves; there will not be an open table in the Parish Hall for the time being. (Because Soup-er Sunday has always been served in this manner, the Sunday, March 29 fundraiser luncheon is still on! Parents and teachers will take extra care to ensure our youth food preparers and hosts take all the appropriate precautions.)
Likewise, at each of the remaining Wednesday Lenten Potlucks, please place your covered food in the kitchen before the Presanctified Liturgy to be served by volunteers cafeteria-style. If you are interested in assisting with this task, please let Deacon Alex know.
Please join your fellow clergy and all members of the parish in praying for all those afflicted with and adversely impacted by COVID-19. Thank you for your continued stewardship of the parish—including the Matthew 25 Ministry (student food insecurity will remain a problem after the current crisis abates)—so we can continue ministering to the least among us and Building Up the Church Beyond Our Parish.
Help fill our van to the 47th Annual March for Life!
HolyTrinity and the Chapel of the Holy Spirit are currently accepting reservations by email through this Wednesday for the annual one-day pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. Our vans depart Friday, January 24 at 6:30 a.m., and return around 10 p.m. College students and youth are especially encouraged to attend. As in previous years, all costs are covered by the parish.
Although included in the 2020 Budget, the Chapel of the Holy Spirit’s proposal for a refinanced mortgage through the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh requires a two-thirds vote of no fewer than 51% of the parish membership.
Therefore, the Council will conduct a Special Parish Meeting this Sunday following the Divine Liturgy. It will be chaired by our Dean, Fr. Mark Meholick; Archbishop Melchisedek will also attend as a show of support. If approved, equity from a new $150,000 mortgage (which will be financed by the Archdiocese at 0% APR for 25 years) will be used to build a 12- by 24-foot addition on the Chapel’s east side to house its altar.
The Holy Synod has designated this Sunday as Sanctity of Life Sunday in all of the parishes of the Orthodox Church in America. You can read His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon’s proclamation of life ahead of the 47th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States.
However, the best way to witness life is by attending the January 24 March for Life in Washington D.C. with your fellow brothers and sisters from Holy Trinityand the Chapel. All expenses will be covered by the parish; simply bring a packed lunch or money for food and/or souvenirs. For more information or to RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The work of Holy Trinity, the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, and the Orthodox Christian Fellowship at Penn State is entirely supported by sacrificial gifts from its members, family, and friends. Thank you.
Now, at no cost to you—and at a minimal cost to the parish (on average, less than the price of offering envelopes)—your donations can be withdrawn directly from your checking account, savings account, or payment card (all major networks are accepted).
With just a few clicks, you can set up a one-time or recurring payment. After authorizing the transaction, your donation is immediately recorded alongside your other contributions for the year.
Holy Trinity’s new, updated, and fully-integrated electronic payment system is now available.
Give as a Member
Giving as a member through Realm allows you to log in securely and manage all your donations in one place. Once you are signed in, click on Giving on the left-hand side of your screen.
Holy Trinity’s Vacation Bible School: “Got Fruit?” begins Monday evening, August 5, 2019, and continues through Thursday, August 8 in the Parish Hall. The program includes activities, crafts, songs, and dinner each evening. Our Church School offers VBS free of charge for all children entering Kindergarten through the sixth grade in the Fall (friends/neighbors are especially welcome). Parents are encouraged to register and complete the release forms online as soon as possible.
Renowned Orthodox musicians Benedict and Maria Sheehan will conduct a three-day workshop here for the parish the weekend of June 7-9. They will help current and prospective Choir members of all levels reach new levels of mastery and enable the ensemble to sing with “One Mouth and One Heart.” Group training will occur amidst personal breakouts for directors, singers, chanters, and clergy. The goal is to create a worshipful atmosphere full of musicianship, expressiveness, attentiveness, and prayer.
Session I begins on Friday at 7 p.m. with introductions, a lecture, and snacks. The Saturday sessions begin at 9 a.m. and continue through Vespers, with ample breaks for a catered lunch, fellowship, and one-on-one attention. On Sunday, participants will gather at 9 a.m. for warm-ups, and then lead the congregation in responses at the 10 a.m. Divine Liturgy. The workshop concludes with a celebratory coffee hour for the whole parish with an open Q&A with the Sheehans.
The parish is offering this unique opportunity at no cost for all eligible Choir members (i.e., children entering middle school and older). It is made possible from the operating budget, which your sacrificial tithes support. Registration is required either below or in the Narthex so enough food can be purchased. For more information, contact us.
7-9pm — Welcome, Lecture, and Fellowship/Snacks
Church-Building with Choral Singing: What Choral Singing Does for the Christian Person and the Christian Community
9-10am — Vocal Technique
10-12pm — Ensemble Technique (how to sing choral repertoire with good individual vocal technique)
12-1:30pm — Lunch
1:30-3:30pm — Break out sessions
Rehearsal Technique (how to learn a new piece, for director and ensemble)
Clergy & Reader Vocal Technique
3:30-4:30pm — Break out sessions
Conducting Lesson for Directors
4:30-5:30pm — Conducting Coaching w/ ensemble
6pm — Vespers
9am — Warm-up; Run-throughs
10am — Divine Liturgy
12pm — Celebratory Coffee Hour and Discussion/Q&A with the Sheehans
Choir Workshop Registration Form
Benedict & Maria Sheehan are bringing their uniquely complementary skill sets to a weekend workshop at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church June 7-9, 2019. In intensive sessions they help church musicians of all abilities reach new levels of mastery, with emphasis on how to retain these skills and employ them in an everyday setting. They particularly emphasize the spiritual work of the sacred choral musician, and its connections to ensemble blend, musicianship, expressiveness, attentiveness, and a prayerful ethos.
The Parish Council is considering a proposal that will ensure Holy Trinity has pastoral coverage during Great Lent and beyond including the ability for the parish to conduct weekday services, pastoral appointments, regular confessions, and catechesis. While it has the support of His Eminence Archbishop Melchisedek and our local clergy here, the proposal impacts our rector search.
Council will solicit your questions and feedback on this proposal at an open meeting in the nave of Holy Trinity Church this Wednesday, February 20 at 7 p.m. It will be broadcast live via phone and video conferencing for those who cannot attend in person. You may also opt to submit comments and questions ahead of time by contacting us or by calling the Parish Office at (814) 231-2855.
Help fill our vans for the 46th annual March for Life!
Holy Trinity and the Chapel of the Holy Spirit are currently accepting reservations in the Narthex and by email for the annual one-day pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. in support of the unborn. Our vans will depart Friday, January 18 at 6:30 a.m., and return around 10 p.m. RSVPs are required by Tuesday, January 15 so appropriate transportation can be secured.
College students and youth (with their parents) are especially encouraged to attend. As in previous years, all transportation costs are fully sponsored by Holy Trinity.
January 22, 2019 marks the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States, and Orthodox Christians from across the US will be among those gathering in the US Capital on Friday, January 18 to participate in the annual March for Life.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon will join other Orthodox Christian hierarchs, seminarians, and clergy and faithful from around the country in the annual March, which will conclude with the celebration of
Memorial Prayers for the victims of abortion near the US Capital.
The theme of this year’s March is “Unique from Day One.”
The March will begin at noon on the grounds of the Washington Monument. The delegation from Holy Trinity and the Chapel with gather with fellow Orthodox Christian participants at the “Orthodox
Christians for Life” banner, which will be prominently displayed to the right of the stage near Constitution Avenue, between 15th and 17th Streets North West. Metropolitan Tikhon and other hierarchs will be
present on the stage for the opening prayers and presentations prior to the March.
Metropolitan Tikhon also will offer the benediction at the annual Rose Banquet on the evening of the March. General information on the March and the banquet—including details on making reservations—is available on the March for Life web site. Information on Orthodox Christians for Life is also available.