During today’s meeting, the Standing Holy Synod decided to send an interpretative circular to all the Metropolitans to explain which measures are provided by the joint ministerial decision, how the churches will operate and how the services will be conducted.
It is also decided that entry checks will be carried out so that the distance between the faithful is maintained and no more than 50 people will be inside the church. The vulnerable groups are called to stay home.
It is also clarified that before entering the church there will be antiseptic and the faithful will be recommended to wear masks and gloves while distances will be maintained between the faithful who will wait to receive the Holy Communion.
“We talked about the safety of people’s health and we decided to take measures,” said the Spokesman of the Standing Holy Synod, Metropolitan Stefanos of Filippoi, Neapolis and Thasos, at the end of the SHS meeting.
Regarding the measures that will take effect from next Sunday, he said that at the entrance of the temples there would be a queue management system for believers while it was necessary to keep the 1.5 m distance with a maximum of 50 believers.
It is also decided that the person checking at the entrance will wear a mask and gloves, the loudspeakers will be open during the Divine Liturgy, the natural ventilation of the temples is obligatory, and the church premises will be cleaned frequently and meticulously.
Moreover, in the announcement issued at the end of the meeting, the Standing Holy Synod expresses bitterness and is diametrically opposed to what is published and circulated online regarding the libel and mockery of the Holy Communion.
It is also emphasized that the Holy Mysteries of “our Holy Orthodox Christian Church are mocked by some who, either out of ignorance or conscious unbelief, do not respect and brutally insult the sacrosanct, the doctrines and the sacred canons of our faith.”
It refers to recent reports in the Turkish press targeting the Ecumenical Patriarch, calling the attack unfair and expressing full support for him.
It also expresses “reservations, distress and concerns about the appropriateness and impact of these initiatives, that is the introduction of sex education in schools, to the beneficial and balanced education of our children.”