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Greek Orthodox churches in NSW change Epiphany house blessings due to COVID-19




Following the announcement that the annual Blessing of the Waters will not go ahead in New South Wales and Victoria this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Greek Orthodox churches in NSW have also had to adapt their scheduled house blessings.

According to a Facebook post by St Spyridon Parish in Kensington, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia has “requested that priests not conduct the Blessing of the Homes this year” to protect parishioners from COVID-19.

In response, parishioners are being encouraged to attend the Holy Services for Epiphany at their local church, which are being held on Wednesday, January 5, and Thursday, January 6. Those who attend will be blessed by the priest and will be given a small container of Holy Water to take home.

Other parishes such as St Spyridon and St Catherine’s Greek Orthodox Church in Mascot will be “visiting all the homes of our area, without knocking on the door, and will be leaving a bottle of Holy Water… as well as an explanatory pamphlet and the 2022 Wall Calendar.”

Parish priests from areas such as Liverpool, Marrickville and Kogarah will not be visiting the houses of parishioners, but rather will have small bottles of Holy Water available for collection at the church.

In the case of All Saints Greek Orthodox Church in Belmore, the house blessings have been “postponed” and will be “performed at a more suitable and safer time in the near future.” For now, Holy Water will also be available in small jars from the church.

*Please note: This is not an extensive list of all churches across New South Wales. Please check with your local parish to see what they will be doing to adapt house blessing this year.

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