The religious services during the Holy Week will be conducted behind closed doors in the Archdiocese of Canada, with Archbishop Sotirios emphasizing in his encyclical that “Our Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and its Communities will precisely observe the directives and instructions of the Canadian government authorities.”
He also states that the church services and Divine Liturgies must be normally conducted in accordance with the Typikon of the Church during the Holy Week and Pascha.
The church services will be live-streamed on social media so that Christians can follow and pray along.
“Church Services and Divine Liturgies will be conducted in Church behind closed doors by the priest, the chanter and the sexton. No one else is allowed to be in Church,” Archbishop Sotirios points out.
Unfortunately, he also emphasizes, the faithful will not receive the Holy Communion, or even Holy Oil, branches of palm trees, flowers from the Epitaphion or the light of the Resurrection. According to the authorities’ directives and instructions, contact between people is prohibited, as well as any gathering of more than three persons.
I ask that you all precisely follow these instructions I am sorry that we are forced to take these measures, but God knows and understands much more and much better than we do.”
Archbishop Sotirios concludes: “I pray and ask that you also pray with faith, repentance and sincerity so that God may help us get through this ordeal as soon as possible. I hope and pray that we all can experience the period of Holy Week and Easter in “our Church at home” with health and in a spiritual uplifting manner. To feel the Passion of our Christ in our heart and soul. To live His agony and His sorrow. To sense His companionship. Let us ask Him, like the thief, to forgive our sins and to hear His voice within us: “My child, I am with you, I love you and I forgive you. Together we will walk the difficult path. We will climb the steep hill together. And we will reach the top.”