Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’ will preside over the procession of the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary “Eleusa” the Merciful that will take place on April 3, said the head of the Synodal Department for Church’s Relations with Society and the Mass Media, Vladimir Negoyda, as reported by ANA-MPA.
The Patriarch will perform the Divine Liturgy at a temple in Moscow before the procession, while the Russian Orthodox Church is calling on the faithful at this time to read the Akathist Hymn and the prayerful supplications for deliverance from the harmful coronavirus infection.
The icon of Eleusa is the same miraculous image in front of which Saint Seraphim of Sarov was praying. The holy icon was kept secretly by devout people after the closure of the Diveevsky Monastery in 1927, Vladimir Negoyda wrote on his page on the Russian social networking service, Telegram.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’ asked the faithful to pray at home and not go to the church because of the coronavirus outbreak, while the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church issued instructions urging the faithful not to kiss the cross after the Divine Liturgy and strictly adhere to the hygiene rules when performing the mysteries.
Specifically, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’ approved a text with instructions on health protection measures to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, which should be followed in the churches during the Divine Liturgy and the Holy Mysteries.
The measures provide for the disinfection of the various Eucharistic objects used by the clergy. Particular attention is paid to the compliance with the rules of cleanliness of the church premises, the disinfection of hands, and the measurement of the temperature of clergy and other persons who render their services to the church.
After each liturgy, the faithful will not be allowed to kiss the cross, and the same rule applies to holy icons, which must be cleaned systematically with disinfectant solution.
With regard to the Holy Communion, it is noted that “the Holy Mysteries of Christ should be offered and the spoon should be wiped after each partaker with a handkerchief impregnated with spirits (with regular refreshing the impregnation) and then dipped in water to be utilized later according to the practice of washing the kerchiefs.”
In addition, the priests should wear disposable hygienic gloves when distributing the antidoron as they are recommended not to offer their hand for kissing.
The priests, the abbots and abbesses of the monasteries and those who offer their services in these places must adhere strictly to the hygiene rules and disinfect their hands during the day at least once every two hours.
At the same time, they should ensure frequent ventilation of temples and places of worship of the monasteries by establishing an obligatory ventilation schedule. Moreover, communal furniture in temples and door handles must also be cleansed with disinfectant solution.