The celebration of Easter will take place on Mount Athos in compliance with the restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. However, some new difficulties have arisen due to the recent damages to the road network.
On the one hand, everyone has been avoiding gatherings, kisses, greetings, and on the other hand, the Services of the Passion have been celebrated without the participation of the laypeople. The same holds true for the Resurrection Service, which will be performed in the same way. In addition, the processions of the icons and the holy relics, which take place every year on the second and third days of Easter, will be held with due care.
The main difference, compared to other years, is that social distancing will be respected and, therefore, the laypeople and other visitors will not be allowed to participate in the celebrations this year. The workers, who were employed by the monasteries were told to leave work for the Holy Week. On Easter days, any kind of work is not allowed on Mount Athos. The monks will be exercising their religious duties from Great Friday until the third day of Easter.
Unfortunately, a new problem has arisen concerning this year’s celebration. Mount Athos declared a state of emergency due to the damage caused by heavy rains a few days ago. Drivers have to take a detour in order to get to Mount Athos, provided that they drive a small vehicle, while efforts are made to put a diversion in place.
The monks have been keeping vigil and will continue to do so during the Easter celebrations. They pray for freedom from our sufferings worldwide and they anticipate the Resurrection of the Lord, which will bring hope, redemption, love and salvation, in order to achieve the ideal afterlife.