LAST UPDATE: 14:50
Holy Week and Easter services will be performed behind closed doors at the Patriarchate of Alexandria, according to ANA-MPA.
In response to the Egyptian state’s efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus, Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria and All Africa asked the Bishops and priests of the Ancient Patriarchate in Cairo and Alexandria to perform all the services of the Passion Week and the Anastasis Service of Great and Holy Pascha behind closed doors, in their churches, without faithful.
The Primate of the Orthodox Church in Africa will be in Alexandria during the Holy Week, where he will officiate at the services at the Church of the Annunciation of the Greek Community of Alexandria and the Patriarchal Monastery of St. Savvas the Sanctified.
All the services, from Great and Holy Thursday through Resurrection Sunday, will be transmitted online by the website of the Hellenic Community of Alexandria.
The Patriarch of Alexandria has often been trying to encourage the faithful recently by inviting them to pray and not lose their courage.
During the Doxology service he performed on the occasion of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos on the 25th of March behind closed doors due to the precautionary measures taken by the Egyptian government and the Patriarchate of Alexandria to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, he said, “It was as if everybody was here with us today. Even if we were so few, it was as if there were thousands of people with us. Numbers are not important to us. On the contrary, the hearts, the tears, the hope, and the expectations are the things that actually matter.”
He added, “Our nation and all mankind beg the invincible champion, the Theotokos, for help in these difficult times. We are her children and she is our Mother. She knows to love and forgive. Happy Independence Day to all of you!”
Patriarch Theodore concluded, “We will get through this! Good days will come again. Our Most Holy Lady will remember that we remained humble. May she save all of us!”.
Besides, after the Service of the Salutations to the Theotokos at the Church of Panagia Heliopolis of the Metropolis of Memphis on 21th of March, he prayed for protection from the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
He said, “Be courageous, my brothers! Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos gives us hope! We will win in the end! Humans have been very good at surviving for hundreds of thousands of years. God created our planet with so much love, and, therefore, He will not abandon it. Be courageous and stay strong!”