March 23, 2020
- Priests should not make any pastoral visits.If there is a case of a dire emergency and the priest is able to be present without violating local orders, and if there is not threat to the health of the priest, the priest may decide to make a visit.All other visits are prohibited.This includes offering any sacraments in people’s homes or places of residence.Furthermore, no parishioners are allowed to come to the church to receive the sacraments or counsel from the priest.Counsel can be offered on the phone or electronically.
- Based on Section 10 of the Executive Order, online services may continue to be offered while the church doors remained locked to the parishioners.However, only the bare number of people should be employed to assist.Chanters should not be forced to come, and if they do want to come, only one to a chant stand.Social distancing practices are to remain in place, of course, and thorough cleaning of all areas used should be done afterwards.Moreover, a priest may use his discretion not to hold services during this period for the protection of those around him.
- If there are any other situations that are not covered, please contact Fr. Teodor or Fr. Nick Kotsis for instruction.
- If your locality has placed restrictions stricter than these, you are to follow them.
With Paternal Prayer and Love,
METRPOLITAN OF DETROIT
March 17, 2020
March 14, 2020
FURTHER GUIDANCE FROM THE HOLY EPARCHIAL SYNOD
NEW YORK – On Saturday, March 14, 2020, the Holy Eparchial Synod convened via a teleconference to continue assessing the spread of COVID-19, commonly known as Corona Virus, and decided the following:
1) For the benefit and protection of the faithful, and taking into account the recent scientific findings, we advise our faithful not to be exposed in places of public assembly (including attending church) during the next few weeks. We recognize that this is an unprecedented situation and one that calls upon each of us to take steps to protect our fellow parishioners and larger communities. During this time, if anyone wishes not to come to church, the Holy Archdiocese extends this blessing, as such a decision is not a sin, but an act of love and responsibility for the protection of one’s self and their fellow human beings. We encourage the faithful to participate in the experience of sacred worship at home, on TV, or using multimedia platforms.
2) We are obligated to abide by the regulations of the Local and State governments, as stringent as they may be, in an effort to support public health efforts.
3) Each Metropolitan has a duty to make necessary decisions for the protection of the faithful in accordance with the public health mandates and the local restrictions regarding public assembly and other protocols.
HOLY EPARCHIAL SYNOD
March 13, 2020
Beloved Priests of the Metropolis of Detroit,
In light of the rapidly changing situations throughout the Archdiocese regarding the COVID-19 virus, please review and follow this directive as reason-endowed sheep in the flock of Christ:
All children’s programs (GOYA, JOY, HOPE, Young Adults, Church School, Greek School, etc.) scheduled through April 5th should be cancelled (including everything associated with Oratorical Festivals and Greek Independence Day)Fellowship Hour/Coffee Hour should be cancelled through April 5th All non-essential gatherings at the church (including all activities scheduled for seniors) should be cancelled through April 5th Any churches that host other groups for gatherings of any sort should cancel those activities through April 5th You should follow all directives from the local authorities that impact any church activities or services. I do not need to tell you the importance of our Divine Services for our people and, indeed, for the whole world. Nevertheless, rather than mandate any set of services in the parishes, I entrust each priest is to use his discretion, based on the situation in his particular locality, to determine that schedule. Continue to guide people away from fear and, instead, to an increased knowledge and faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Continue to pray fervently for a quick mitigation and end to this situation.
With Paternal Prayers and Love,
METROPOLITAN OF DETROIT
Calliopus and Akylina the Martyrs; Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and Enlightener of North America; Righteous Father Savvas the New of Kalymnos; George, Bishop of Lesvos; Gerasimos the God-Bearer of Byzantium