Letter from Archbishop Elpidophoros Conveying Liturgical Guidelines of the Ecumenical Patriarchate During the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic


Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (GOA)Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Letter from Archbishop Elpidophoros shared by His Eminence, Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco

New York, March 18, 2020

Your Eminence,

It is with brotherly joy but also with much agony that I communicate with Your Eminence in these critical and unsettling times when all of humanity is in turmoil over this sudden pandemic of COVID-19. As Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, I am informing you of the just-issued decision of the Holy and Sacred Synod concerning the pastoral measures which must be taken for the protection of the flock of the Mother Church throughout the world.

Having discussed the situation with the Sacred Center of Orthodoxy, at length, and having inquired specifically about the United States, I received His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s reply, namely, that we should allow for the divine services, including Divine Liturgies, to be celebrated in our Holy Churches behind closed doors, as is the case with the Monasteries. In this way we may be able to keep our liturgical tradition alive, even in this minimal way, but also that we may broadcast through streaming and other means the aforementioned services for the spiritual benefit of our faithful.

Having duly conveyed the above to Your Eminence, I pray for continued strength and resolve as we face this unprecedented and disconcerting situation.

With undiminished love in the Lord, and esteem,

+Archbishop Elpidophoros of America

List of Parishes Where You Can Watch Services Online


1 Comment

  1. Uh…your understanding of Liturgical Theology is little to non-existent. The Divine Liturgy is celebrated with the GATHERING of the FAITHFUL to RECEIVE THE EUCHARIST – not just to hear and/or view the service. Without the reception of the Holy Eucharist by the faithful, the celebration of the Divine Liturgy is for NOUGHT. Reverting to the bad, incorrect theology practiced by the Orthodox in this country for years is Protestant. Distribute the “reserve sacrament” for all the faithful to receive at home as they did in the Early Church!

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