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Public Worship in Churches Suspended in Melbourne

SYDNEY –  The unpleasant developments of the last few days regarding the increase in the number of Coronavirus cases in Melbourne made it necessary to take strict measures to ensure public health.

In this context, Archbishop Makarios of Australia announced the suspension of public worship in seven Orthodox Churches, which are in danger areas, including: Holy Trinity, Footscray; Saint Paraskevi, St Albans; Saint Dimitrios, Ascot Vale; Panagia Soumela, East Keilor; St. Vasilios, Brunswick; Saint Eleftherios, Brunswick; and Saint Nektarios, Fawkner.

In an encyclical addressed to the Archdiocesan Vicar of Melbourne, Bishop Ezekiel of Dervis, and to the Archdiocesan Vicar of the Northcote district, Archimandrite Eumenios, the Archbishop clarifies that the specific churches will remain closed to the faithful, but all services and the Divine Liturgies will be performed normally by the priest and the chanter. As for the sacraments and funerals, it is suggested that, if possible, they be held in other churches, or in a strictly close family environment.

“I urge you to comply with the specific guidelines by properly guiding our priests and the Boards of Directors of the above Holy Temples, and at the same time I warmly ask you to intensify your prayers to God, the Gift Giver, Whose intervention awaits all humanity,” Archbishop Makarios concludes.

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