Worship Guide

What's happening at Atonement?

We continue to gather as the worshiping, serving Body of Christ in this new time, connecting creatively and growing as a family in our faith, hope, and love. 

​Attending the Sunday 9:00 am Low Mass or 11:00 am Sung Mass?

Pre-registration is required for all in-person Masses: 9:00 am Mass will be open to 40 individuals (+ those serving in the liturgy) and the 11:00 am Sung Mass will be open to 36 individuals  (+ those serving in the liturgy). See the bottom area of our homepage to register. Please plan to arrive no later than 15 minutes prior to the start time.

In order to create as safe an environment as we can during this period of partial reentry, we ask that you

  • wear a mask at all times in the church buildings,

  • practice good social distancing,

  • make good use of hand washing and hand sanitizer,

  • and choose to attend worship only if you are asymptomatic. 


You can find our complete guidelines for in-person worship below. By registering to attend this Mass, you are agreeing to follow these guidelines. 

Registration will be open through Saturday. If you are unable to attend a service you registered for, please notify the parish office at least 24 hours in advance. Please note that our 11:00 am Sunday Mass will continue to be streamed via YouTube.


If you need assistance registering, please call Kate at the church office, 773-271-2727.

Attending the Tuesday Noon Mass?

Pre-registration is required for this in-person Mass, which will be open to 45 individuals (+ those serving in the liturgy). See the bottom area of our homepage to register. Please plan to arrive no later than 11:45 am.


Registration will be open through Monday. If you are unable to attend a service you registered for, please notify the parish office at least 24 hours in advance. If you are registering for a guest, please provide contact information for that individual. All COVID-19 safety guidelines and precautions apply to this Mass.


If you need assistance registering, please call Kate at the church office, 773-271-2727.

Atonement’s Values


Our decision-making during this time is guided by the following:

  • We are the Body of Christ, made one by the Holy Spirit in our baptisms. As a community of the baptized, we are called to “continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers.” We affirm that faithful community prayer can take many forms and continue in a variety of ways.

  • Wherever we are in the journey to full reentry into the church building, we will continue to offer virtual worship in order to include those who wish to remain at home. We will continue to prioritize inclusivity of our worshipers wherever they are. We will therefore invest in adequate equipment for sound and video streaming and work with our parishioners to ensure that they are able to access online worship.​

  • As Episcopalians, our principal and normative form of weekly Sunday worship is the breaking of the bread: incarnate, in-person Holy Communion. When that is not possible for reasons of safety, the praying of the Liturgy of the Word is preferred, followed by online worship of this or of Morning Prayer.

  • As a part of a community steeped in the gift of the Incarnation and exhorted by the psalmist to sing unto the Lord a new song, we acknowledge that beauty and the arts are an integral part of Christian worship. Music is a part of our identity and one of the gifts of this parish.

    • We will continue to lift up our hearts and our voices in our worship however we can safely, whether that worship is virtual or in-person.

    • The music and clergy staff will stay up to date with current research and diocesan/professional guidelines to determine when congregational and choral singing may safely resume.

  • As those called to continue in Christ’s fellowship, we understand the importance of godly hospitality. In many ways, as the Body of Christ, we exist for those who are not yet a part of that Body. Hospitality will therefore infuse our gatherings, especially when we must come together in smaller/restricted numbers.

    • Any system for reentry into the church should ensure that as many as possible have access to in-person gatherings.

    • We will do all we can to prioritize entry to those who have limited internet access.

    • Visitors or new parishioners will be prioritized and encouraged to remain. If we find that we are over the allowed number of people in a gathering, we will invite wardens, vestry, or long-time members to volunteer to leave the gathering and return at a different time.

  • Our baptismal covenant asks us to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as [our]self.” With God’s help, we also promised to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” In response to this, we affirm that Atonement will continue to love one another and our neighbors in how we worship, serve, and gather.

    • We will continue to seek and safely serve those in need in our Edgewater neighborhood, especially those most marginalized and forgotten. We will continue to support as many of our Outreach ministries as can continue in these various phases.

  • As those called to “proclaim by Word and example the Good News of God in Christ,” we take seriously our call to witness to the Gospel. We know, too, that our witness can be recognized both in what we say and in what we do. Because of this, the use of our buildings and of our grounds can be a powerful means of proclaiming Christ’s liberating, life-giving love.

    • Our buildings will be kept safe and sanitized, with adequate cleaning and attention to air flow.

    • Our buildings will be as kept open as possible to twelve-step programs and other community gatherings, in compliance with our own parish reopening guidelines.

    • Our grounds, which are a clear sign of our connection to our neighbors in Edgewater, will be open to our neighbors for safe recreation and gathering.

  • As those called to care for all of God’s creation, we take seriously our call to environmental stewardship. 

    • Whenever possible, our decisions about what to buy and what materials to be used during this time will consider questions of sustainability.

  • As Christians in the state of Illinois and part of The Episcopal Church, we will take our cues for in-person gatherings from the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and from the Governor and public health authorities of the State of Illinois and the Mayor of the City of Chicago. We will not walk ahead of those two authorities

Guidelines for In-Person Worship


As a community of faith, we know that our life together is shaped and governed by the presence of Christ in our midst. All our works are begun, continued, and ended in him, even (or perhaps especially) those things we do in times of crisis and change. Our decisions around in-person worship and gatherings are born out of the promises of our faith, the gift of our baptismal covenant, our love for God and our neighbor, and our belief that God is present in our community, healing, guiding, and comforting us all. It is in this spirit that we share the following information about in-person worship.   

  • All decisions about in-person worship and other gatherings are governed by the guidelines and policies of the Church of the Atonement, the Diocese of Chicago, the City of Chicago, and the State of Illinois.



Requirements for In-Person Worship

  • Worshipers will wear a proper mask over their nose and mouth at all times in church buildings, except when removing it briefly to consume the Blessed Sacrament.

  • Worshipers should attend in-person gatherings only if they are asymptomatic, to the very best of their knowledge.

  • Worshipers should plan to arrive to the church by at least 8:45 am.

  • Worshipers should maintain a six foot or more distance from all those who are outside their own household.

  • Worshipers should follow the instructions of the ushers, greeters, and posted signs as to entrance and exit, traffic patterns, restrooms, and seating areas.

  • Worshipers are encouraged to make good use of hand sanitizer, particularly before and after receiving Holy Communion.

  • All of our bathrooms are now single occupancy; please follow the posted guidelines for entering and cleaning the bathrooms.


What to Expect at Mass

  • All people who wish to attend an in-person Mass will need to register for attendance to Mass and/or other gatherings online using Realm, our on-line database. This registration will include providing name and email address, which we will use for contact tracing should this prove necessary.

  • All extra materials have been removed from the Nave, including ushers’ table pamphlets, Hymnals, and Books of Common Prayer. Leaflets will be distributed and then recycled at the end of Mass by worshipers.  

  • Worshipers will be welcomed outside the church by a greeter, who will take their temperature and ask a few simple COVID-19 screening questions.

  • Worshipers will be guided to a designated seat by the ushers; households may sit together.

  • While there will be organ music throughout, there will be no singing in in-person liturgies.

  • The Peace will be exchanged in place with a solemn bow instead of handshakes or hugs.

  • The Offering will be collected in a stationary plate at the back of the Nave. There will be no collection and no physical offering of this Offering during the Mass.

  • At the distribution of Communion, worshipers will make their way to the crossing, following the directions of the ushers and signs in the aisle, and stand to receive. We recommend that worshipers receive Communion in their palms, step to the side while removing their mask, consume the host, and then return to their seats while replacing their masks.

  • Communion will be distributed in one kind only, with the reminder that to receive in one kind is to receive the fullness of the Sacrament. The wine in the Chalice will be consumed only by the Celebrant.

  • If a worshiper desires a blessing instead of Communion, the blessing will be offered verbally only.

  • At the end of Mass, there will be no opportunity to greet the Celebrant or preacher (the common “receiving line” at the end of worship). There will also be no in-person coffee hour, although virtual coffee hour will still happen after the 11:00 Zoom liturgy.


We hope that this information not only helps you to feel more comfortable in knowing what to expect from our in-person worship but also demonstrates the care that Atonement’s leadership team has taken in its planning and preparation.



5749 N Kenmore Avenue

Chicago, Illinois 60660


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©2018 The Episcopal Church of the Atonement.