His Eminence Archbishop Makarios has released a statement this afternoon stating that “all public worship in churches” will be suspended from today due to the “extraordinary measures taken by the Federal Government of Australia to restrict the spread of the coronavirus.”
Whilst this means that all churches will remain closed to the faithful until an unspecified time, His Eminence stresses that all services, feast days of the Saints and the Divine Liturgies will continue to be conducted by the Priest and chanter.
“Sacraments and funerals will continue to take place but only in the presence of the immediate family members,” the statement reads.
His Eminence also asks the faithful to show “understanding, unity and confidence” during this difficult time.
“I call upon you all to pray more. I ask that you place your trust in God. It is a trial that we are experiencing, but we Orthodox know very well that after the Crucifixion comes the Resurrection,” His Eminence added.
“There is need for patience, unity and collaboration. Resurrection will come soon.”
The move comes after The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople issued an announcement on Wednesday suspending all “religious ceremonies, events and rites” at churches globally and allowing only individual prayer, in a bid to contain the coronavirus epidemic.
Read the full statement here: