COVID-19 | Holy Fifty Days - Update 2

Date: April 27, 2020 Subject: COVID 19 — Holy Fifty — update 2

Christ is Risen! … Truly He is Risen!

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God … is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times” (Romans 1: 8-10)

In our recent committee meeting, we have decided to hold liturgical services on Sundays only effective immediately and throughout the month of May. We also decided to have only 3 people praying the liturgy: either three priests, or two priests and a deacon, or one priest and two deacons depending on each church specific situation. Furthermore, deacons are not to be changed or rotated from one service to another. We are continuing to uphold the safety precautions during the services as stated in the statement issued on April 4th, as well as those stated by the government of Canada. [ https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel- coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html?topic=tilelink#p ].

These decisions were reached after consulting with an Infectious Disease specialist and an Emergency physician who are actively dealing with COVID-19 cases. They strongly advised to reduce any possible risks on the congregants, deacons and priests in such uncertain times and also to be in compliance with the government’s effort to stop the spread of the virus. Therefore we have decided to revise the number of liturgies and deacons as stated above. Indeed, the coming period is very critical, especially when the government starts to reopen the province gradually, as there is an expected risk of increase in the number of infections when people increase their interactions with one another.

We reassure you again that we have a special committee headed by H.G. Bishop Mina, closely following the COVID-19 situation and conducting weekly meetings to discuss the necessary measures needed whilst taking in consideration the spiritual needs of our congregations and ensuring their safety.

We understand everyone’s longing to be back in the church and to participate in the church liturgical services. We will continue taking steps to ensure everyone in the congregation is cared for spiritually through virtual meetings, phone confession, and various online services. Please, contact your local priest(s) to access their services in a safe way. Let’s all continue to pray with one accord that these days are shortened so we are all gathered together soon in the house of the Lord.

Diocese of Mississauga, Vancouver and Western Canada

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