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Updated 8 August 2020: The spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 and the public health measures implemented to manage it are having a profound impact on social interaction around the world.  Our Holy Orthodox Church is not exempt from this.  Our parish takes this public health risk seriously and is strictly complying with the directives of the civil authorities in this country including limits on the number of people present at services and registration of attendance.  We have also introduced sanitary measures including the provision of hand sanitiser at the entry to the church; discouraging people from kissing the Holy Gospel, the icons, the chalice, the Cross, and the hand of the priest; cleaning icons regularly with methylated spirits; anointing the faithful with disposable cotton swabs rather than a single brush; the provision of disposable napkins for use when receiving Holy Communion; the provision of disposable cups from which to receive the warm water and wine (“zapivka”) after Holy Communion; and the cancellation of our usual “cup of tea” after services.  In addition, we have marked places on the floor in church to help worshippers maintain appropriate distance from one another and note that the NSW Department of Health recommends the wearing of face masks in places of religious worship.  We have registered as COVID-safe and our parish COVID-19 Safety Plan is available here.

25 August 2020: Message of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church to the episcopate, clergy, monastics and laity on the invasion of a harmful infection this year

 

Russian: http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/5682118.html

English: http://www.patriarchia.ru/en/db/text/5682126.html

 

3 May 2020: Послание Святейшего Патриарха Кирилла в Неделю 3-ю по Пасхе, святых жен-мироносиц

 

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/5631474.html

 

27 April 2020: Распоряжение Святейшего Патриарха Кирилла об ответственности за несоблюдение указаний, направленных на ограничение распространения коронавирусной инфекции

 

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/5629099.html

 

27 April 2020: Заявление Рабочей группы по координации деятельности церковных учреждений в условиях распространения коронавирусной инфекции

 

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/5629119.html

 

14 April 2020: Guidance for Holy Week from Archbishop Peter of Chicago and Mid-America, Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia:

 

https://chicagodiocese.org/news_200414_1

 

6 April 2020: Encyclical Letter of Metropolitan Hilarion concerning compliance with public health measures:

 

English: https://www.rocor.org.au/news10/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/encyclical_mh_eg_2020.pdf

Russian: https://www.rocor.org.au/news10/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/encyclical_mh_ru_2020.pdf

 

3 April 2020: Patriarchal Epistle to the Reverend Archpastors, clergy, monastics and lay people of Dioceses in Russia:

 

Russian: http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/5616517.html

 

1 April 2020: Appeal of the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia to the God-Loving Flock, in Connection with the Coronavirus Pandemic:

 

English: http://synod.com/synod/eng2020/20200401_enmhappeal.html

Russian: http://synod.com/synod/2020/20200401_mhappeal.html

 

21 March 2020: Statement from Bishop George of Canberra on church life during the pandemic:

 

English: https://www.rocor.org.au/news10/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Statement-Concerning-Conducting-Church-Life-EN.pdf

Russian: https://www.rocor.org.au/news10/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Statement-Concerning-Conducting-Church-Life-RU.pdf

 

20 March 2020: A decree of the extraordinary conference of the Synod of Bishops:

 

English: http://synod.com/synod/eng2020/20200320_encommunique.html

Russian: http://synod.com/synod/2020/20200320_communique.html

 

17 March 2020: Инструкция настоятелям приходов и подворий, игуменам и игумениям монастырей Московской епархии в связи c угрозой распространения коронавирусной инфекции:

 

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/5608418.html

 

17 March 2020: Coronavirus Instructional Letter - Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America, Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia:

 

https://chicagodiocese.org/news_200317_1

 

14 March 2020: Coronavirus Guidance from the Diocesan Office - Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America, Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia:

 

https://chicagodiocese.org/news_200314_1

 

13 March 2020: An update from the Diocesean Office of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia:

 

English

Russian

 

13 March 2020: Decree by Archbishop pertaining to the Coronavirus - Western American Diocese, Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia:

 

https://wadiocese.org/news_200313_1

 

12 March 2020: The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church issues a statement on the Coronavirus situation:

 

English: http://synod.com/synod/eng2020/20200312_enmoscowcoronavirus.html

Russian: http://synod.com/synod/2020/20200312_moscowcoronavirus.html

 

5 March 2020: A Statement of Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe Regarding Church Life and the Coronavirus:

 

English, Russian and French: https://orthodox-europe.org/2020/03/05/coronavirus-message/

 

Rules for worship - Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Washington DC:

 

https://mailchi.mp/stjohndc.org/concerning-church-services-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic

New South Wales Government information about COVID-19:

 

https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19

 

Australian Government information about COVID-19:

 

https://www.australia.gov.au/

The following 'Prayer in Time of Epidemic' will be offered at Divine Liturgy in our parish for as long as the present crisis persists and may also be included by the faithful in their private prayer sat home:

 

A Prayer in Time of Epidemic

O Lord, our God, look down from Thy Holy Heaven on the supplication of us, Thy sinful and unworthy servants, who have angered Thy graciousness by our transgressions, and have provoked Thy deep compassion, and enter not into judgement with Thy servants.  But do Thou turn aside Thy fearsome anger that justly has seized us, appease the destructive threatening, avert Thy terrible sword that, although invisible, is cutting us grievously, and spare Thy poor and needy servants.  Enclose not with death the souls of us who have fallen down in repentance with broken hearts and tears before Thee, our kindhearted, condescending and accommodating God.  For Thine it is to show mercy and to save, O our God, and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.  Amen.

 

Молитвы во время смертносныя заразы

Господи Боже наш, призри с высоты святыя Твоея на молитву нас грешных и недостойных рабов Твоих, беззаконьми нашими Твою благость прогневавших, и милосердие Твое раздраживших, и не вниди в суд с рабами Твоими, но отврати страшный гнев Твой праведно на нас движимый, утоли губительное прещение, устави грозный Твой меч, невидимо безвременно секущий нас, и пощади нищих и убогих рабов Твоих, и не затвори в смерти души наша, в покаянии сокрушенным сердцем и со слезами к Тебе, Милосердому, Благоуветливому, и Благопременительному Богу нашему припадающих.  Твое бо есть еже миловати и спасати нас, Боже наш, и Тебе славу возсылаем, Отцу и Сыну и Святому Духу, ныне и присно и во веки веков. Аминь.

 

This prayer may also be used at home:

 

A Prayer for Protection from the Coronavirus composed by Patriarch Daniel of Romania

 

Lord, our God, You who are rich in mercy, and with careful wisdom direct our lives, listen to our prayer, receive our repentance for our sins, bring an end to this new infectious disease, this new epidemic, just as You averted the punishment of Your people in the time of King David.  You Who are the Physician of our souls and bodies, grant restored health to those who have been seized by this illness, raising them from their bed of suffering, so that they may glorify You, O Merciful Saviour, and preserve in health those who have not been infected.  Lord, bless, strengthen and preserve, all those who out of love and sacrifice care for the sick in their homes or in the hospitals.  Remove all sickness and suffering from Your people, and teach us to value life and health as gifts from You.  Give us Your peace, O God, and fill our hearts with unflinching faith in Your protection, hope in Your help, and love for You and our neighbour.  For Yours it is to have mercy on us and save us, O our God, and to You we ascribe glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages.  Amen.

 

And this prayer may be offered for medical workers:

 

O Lord Jesus Christ our God, Lover of Mankind, Physician of  our souls and bodies, who didst bear the pain of our infirmities, and by whose wounds we are healed; Who gave sight to the man born blind; Who straightened the woman who was bent over for eighteen years; Who gave speech and sight to the mute demoniac; Who not only forgave the paralytic his sins, but healed him to walk; Who restored the withered hand of a troubled man; Who stopped the flow of blood of her who bled for twelve years; Who raised Jairus’ daughter to life; And brought the four-day-dead Lazarus to life; And who heals every infirmity under the sun:  Do now, O Lord, grant Thy grace to all those here gathered who have laboured and studied hour upon hour, to go into all the world, and to heal by the talent Thou hast given to each of them. Strengthen them, by Thy strength, to fear no evil or disease. Enlighten them to do no evil by the works of their hands, and preserve them and those they serve in peace, for Thou art our God, and we know no other, and to Thee we ascribe glory together with Thy Father who is from everlasting, and Thy most Holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Set out below are links to the streaming services being provided by a number of parishes of our Diocese.  We encourage our parishioners and friends to also consider the perspectives offered in the following articles:

 

Archpriest John Klingel: Liturgy and Live-Streaming: Two things that don't go together

 

https://orthochristian.com/129691.html

 

Konstantin Shemliuk: Online Christianity: To be or not to be

 

https://spzh.news/en/chelovek-i-cerkovy/69727-hristianstvo-onlajn-byty-ili-ne-byt

 

The following parishes in our Diocese are live streaming services:

 

Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral, Strathfield:

 

https://www.strathfieldcathedral.org/ 

 

Intercession of the Holy Virgin parish, Cabramatta (Slavonic and English):

 

https://m.facebook.com/cabrapokrov/ 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClnaLUki2i81f8banTcHVGw/featured

 

Saint Nicholas parish, Fairfield:

 

https://www.facebook.com/stnicholaschurchfairfield/

 

Saint George Parish, Carlton:

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFTjumbVFEfdWsOeKl3mVkg

https://www.facebook.com/stgeorge.carlton/

 

Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral, Melbourne (Slavonic and English):

 

https://youtu.be/9-EY3LkcqZ4

 

Holy Annunciation parish, Brisbane (English):

 

http://Facebook.com/HolyAnnunciation

 

Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Brisbane (Slavonic and English):

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyYNEX3jcgAE_V7WPbkTN_Q/featured

 

 

 

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