Taking into consideration the daily developments related to the COVID-19 commonly known as Coronavirus pandemic, positions expressed by the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and our sister churches, we call upon our faithful to:
1. Liturgical Services:
This Sunday, March 15, the Divine Liturgy will be conducted as usual so that we may offer our prayers as a people before the holy altar of the Lord. At the same time, those faithful who prefer not to attend church-out of concern for their own health and welfare, and that of their families and society at large-are emphatically urged to stay home.
For the Requiem Service (Hokehangist) the physical presence of faithful requesting the Service is not required and the faithful are kindly invited to communicate with the church office for necessary arrangements.
Sacramental Rites and Rituals will be conducted with limited participation of family members only.
For clergy visits and special prayers please communicate with your parish priest.
A separate directive will give guidance for the weeks following March 15.
2. Non-Liturgical Events:
It is our strongest recommendation that, at least until Easter (April 12), all non-liturgical events (Annual Parish Assembly, Exhibitions, Saturday and Sunday Schools, Auxiliary Bodies Activities, etc.) in the parishes should be cancelled.
3. Resources from Medical Authorities:
We recommend that you follow the directions given by your local authorities, as well as the important information linked here:
4. Prayer of Healing:
We are asking all of our faithful, particularly those who are unable to attend church, to offer the following prayer:
“Lord our God, enthroned among the angels, as you gaze here below from your holy heights, look down on all of us, your servants, who are suffering through the fear, uncertainty, pain and death surrounding the current pandemic. Take away every sickness and pain, and restore health and hope to all those who are ailing. Glory, lordship and honor to you, now and always and unto the ages of ages. Amen.”
Let us pray that almighty God, in His own time and mysterious manner, will guide us past the pain of the present moment, to bring life and hope to all humanity.