Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Due to the extraordinary situation caused by the Corona Virus pandemic, and according to new orders which have taken effect, the Government has mandated the closure of all houses of worship (churches, church yards, auxiliary buildings and monasteries) to the public.The only exception permitted are for small weddings (currently priest, couple and two witness, a total of 5 people), and funerals (a limit of 10 people), conditional on the strict application of social distancing and the 4 square metre rule.
Our Church will continue her sacramental life and mission, never ceasing to meet the needs of her entrusted flock.
Services will continue, in harmony with the delivered orders. The Divine Liturgy will be served by clergymen,
with the assistance of one chanter and one altar server, behind closed doors.
Whilst these extraordinary measures are in place and the faithful are unable to attend services, portions of the Divine Liturgy will be live streamed via the Metropolitanate Facebook page, as an expression of prayerful concern, comfort and support to the faithful.
The faithful should turn to their parish priests for any concerns and spiritual needs, including the Holy Sacraments. The faithful are directed to contact their parish priest if they are in need of Holy Water, antidoron, candles, charcoal and incense, and organise collection or delivery of the same. Likewise, we encourage the faithful to send lists of names of the living and the deceased, for commemoration at the Divine Liturgy.
Conscious of the challenges we face, let us use this period for spiritual growth in prayer and the exercise of virtue. In the spirit of Great Lent, let us look inwardly and see where we are as Christians, increasing our acts of charity towards each other.
Encouraged by faith and with hope in the power, might and love of the God-Man Christ who conquered death, and in preparing ourselves for the awaited Feast of Christ’s Resurrection, let us increase our prayers for the entire world, and in particular for those who are ill and for those who care for them.
With Paternal Love,
+ S I L U A N
Bishop of the Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand
The Serbian Orthodox Church