Athens, April 8, 2020
The services of Holy Week and Pascha will be celebrated in the parishes and monasteries of the Greek Orthodox Church, according to a new Joint Ministerial Decision from Greece’s Ministries of Education and Health published on Monday, according to Greek Reporter.
After the Greek state first initiated quarantine measures, the Greek Church agreed to reduce its schedule to include only the Divine Liturgy, for one hour on Sundays. However, this was not strict enough for the state, which responded by prohibiting all services except in the Archdiocesan cathedral in Athens.
The Holy Synod of the Greek Church then petitioned the state to allow the clergy to continue to celebrate the services at least behind closed doors.
The state has now granted that request.
According to the new decision, up to four people will be allowed inside each church, including the priest, an altar server, and one or two chanters.
Each parish itself will be responsible to enforce the state’s measures and social distancing.
Churches will be allowed to broadcast their services on television, radio, and online. These new measures apply to all religions represented in Greece.
Last week, the Greek Holy Synod also announced that if, God-willing, the churches are reopened by the end of May, the public celebration of Pascha will be held on the leavetaking of the feast on May 26-27.