On Thursday, March 26, 2020, the Three Major Communities, namely the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Custody of the Holy Land of the Franciscans, and the Patriarchate of the Armenians in Jerusalem, who are responsible for the Status Quo, published the announcement stated below.
They state that the Services at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre will continue to be held by the ministering Fathers of each Community, according to the Typikon of the Status Quo. However, there will be a significant decrease in the numbers of the faithful attending the services in order to adhere to the safety precautions against coronavirus.
Read the full statement:
“Following the evolvement of the situation in the Holy Land, we the Heads of the Three Communities to whom the Providence granted the grace and honour of proclaiming the lodes of the Lord in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre and Resurrection, wish to inform that the celebrations of the Communities, the Greek Orthodox, the Latin and the Armenian will continue regularly, even though for safety reasons and in order to avoid the risk of the diffusion of the COVID-19 infection, the number of participants in the celebrations will be limited to few persons and the Basilica will be accessible during the liturgies only.
We wish to assure that inside the Basilica, the prayers of the Three Communities will continue, rather intensify, asking the Heavenly Father the end of the pandemic, the recovery of the sick, the protection of the medical personnel, the wisdom for the Pastors and the Governors and the eternal salvation to those who lost their lives. We raise this prayer from the very place where, through the sacrifice of His own life on the Calvary and through His Resurrection from the Sepulchre on the third day, the only begotten and beloved Son Jesus Christ, defeated evil, sin and death.”
This announcement contradicts with the previous publications citing sources that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was closed on Wednesday for a week.