“This year we will not celebrate Easter in the villages and churches, nor will we savor the traditional lamb on a roasting spit in our yards. This year we will stay at home. We have time to celebrate,” said in his press briefing government spokesman Stelios Petsas.
Then, in response to questions, the government spokesman said, “This year’s Easter is different. It’s not like previous years. The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece is in touch with the government. We’re looking at celebrating the liturgies in camera.”
“We are living a historic moment,” he said, noting that “this year we will not have roasting spits in the village in Easter. We will celebrate at home. We have years in front of us to celebrate. But no day will be the same in the coming years if we lose a person we love because of our frivolity. We’re staying home,” he said.
It is reminded that the extension of restrictive measures on the operation of all worship places, including the Orthodox churches, until April 11 was announced by Minister of Education Niki Kerameus in an interview on public television ERT.
Kerameus said that a new decision would also be issued on April 11 which was the date of entry into force of the new joint ministerial decision issued yesterday. The new decision will stipulate that the religious services during the Holy Week will be conducted “only by the priest and the chanter” behind closed doors, as the minister said.
The minister said, “The decision issued yesterday will be extended until April 11. A new decision will be issued which also includes provisions for the Holy Week. We have already paid attention to the request for religious services behind closed doors, that is, for liturgies without the presence of lay faithful. One clergyman and a chanter, perhaps, will be present.”
It is noted that yesterday’s extension of the restrictive measures until April 11 stipulates that the faithful will not be able to go to churches massively to avoid coronavirus spread and the Divine Liturgy will be broadcast on television, radio and online.
The Holy Synod to meet on Wednesday
The Standing Holy Synod will meet on Wednesday by teleconference so that the hierarchs discuss the proposals put forward by the church to the state on how churches will operate during Easter.
In a letter sent to the minister of Education in the past few days, the Holy Synod has requested that priests be allowed to normally perform the Divine Liturgy and liturgical services behind closed doors. In the same letter, the Church of Greece requests authorization to perform the Divine Liturgy at the monasteries where people live anyway in a communal way.