TO THE CLERGY OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX DIOCESE OF CANADA
Very Reverend fathers,
In response to the developing situation regarding the COVID-19 virus we issue the following instructions and blessing:
1. Holy Liturgy, according to the Tipik, is to be served in ALL churches of our Diocese on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays of each week so that the faithful can partake of the Holy Sacrament more easily; that is, so that they can receive Holy Communion on days other than Sunday. During the week, each parish is to, at least once, serve a fitting moleban service.
2. Holy Communion, which is the foundation of our faith cannot be brought into question and it is to be administered only in the way which has been the centuries long practice of our Holy Church.
3. Holy Water and incense must be available to the faithful in abound so that they may bring it to bless their homes and for personal use. This morning a state of emergency was declared in Ontario, limiting the gathering of groups of more than 50 people. Our churches in Ontario have an obligation to strictly adhere to this instruction of our civil authorities. If there are changes in this regard you will be duly notified. All priests must be available for their flock in this time of need to bless their homes, commune the sick, and comfort the scared. Clergy who have indications of illness should, as all others, seek professional medical help and need to inform the Bishop of the same. Be reasonable and avoid unnecessary gatherings. We are attentively following the developing situation worldwide, but especially in Canada, and pray to the Lord, the only One who is capable of healing our souls and bodies, to aide us in keeping our faith strong.
We must follow the instructions of civil authorities, but we cannot allow worldly temptations to shake our hope in the Omnipotent Lord.