Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We have just received a directive from His Eminence Archbishop Alexander in response to the developing situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
His Eminence has asked that, from today through Sunday, March 29, all the events and activities (including coffee hour, Sunday school, classes) be cancelled. We are permitted to celebrate the Sunday Divine Liturgies and the weekday Presanctified Liturgies, and the Vesperal Liturgy for Annunciation on March 25. However, he is asking that only the necessary people be present for those services (the priest, the reader, 2 singers, and an altar server). His Eminence has asked that other church members should remain at home, even for the Divine Liturgy.
His Eminence points out that the Holy Body and Precious Blood of our Lord can never be a source of disease, as it is life-giving and for the healing of our souls and bodies. It is the fountain of immortal life, the antidote to mortality. However, given that the virus appears to be an airborne contagion, he asks that we take this precaution out of love for our neighbor, and to slow the spread of the disease, lest our hospitals be overwhelmed.
Certainly anyone who is “at risk” - the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions - and all those who are sick, should absolutely not attend services.
Thus, we will continue to have the most important services in the next two weeks, and the door of the church will be open for those who want to come and pray, but we respect His Eminence’s request that the faithful stay at home temporarily and pray there. I will explicitly remember in prayer each and every member of our mission at every divine service.
If anyone becomes seriously ill during this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, and I will be happy to make a pastoral visitation for prayer, anointing, confession, or Holy Communion, as appropriate.
Also, during this time, expect to see an increased number of devotional and instructive emails from me, so that we can continue to pray together and grow spiritually.
If anyone has any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email. Contact link
See the updated calendar here for a simple overview of services for the coming week. The letter from His Eminence is attached, as well as the most recent statement from the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America.
With love in Christ our Divine Physician,