Holy Eparchial Synod communique on the reopening of parishes
The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has announced that each metropolitan will be responsible for the reopening of his local parishes which closed due to the coronavirus, in accordance with local health and public safety mandates.
The announcement, which pointed out that regulations may vary significantly within an individual metropolis, was made after a videoconference of the Holy Eparchial Synod convened by Archbishop Elpidophoros of America.
Noting the importance of recommencing with holy communion, it was decided that each hierarch will make determinations for parishes in accordance with local guidelines for social distancing, preparation of the churches and attendant facilities, and all best practices for the local clergy to observe.
It was further decided that the celebration of sacraments and other services will be allowed in line with the same local health and public safety mandates.
“We are all deeply concerned, not only for the health of our faithful, but for their morale and their spiritual life. We know that re-opening the churches with attention to nuance of the facts on the ground and deference to the judgment of local authorities is the best way to proceed,” Elpidophoros said.
“As shepherds of our flocks, we are committed to safely reopening, and with an abiding sense of responsibility for the spiritual and physical health of the faithful,” he said.