Greece; Cyprus, May 5, 2020
Churches in Greece and Cyprus reopened yesterday, May 4, for Orthodox faithful to offer prayers, light candles, and venerate icons and holy relics.
Numerous faithful began visiting the churches from early in the morning in Greece, reports the Orthodoxia News Agency.
The Church has pledged that all health precautions, including social distancing, masks, gloves, and the disinfection of churches will be followed. Cathedrals will remain open after services are celebrated in order to properly ventilate.
In cathedrals, the ratio of parishioners to floor space will be one person per every 10 sq. m., with a minimum of 1.5 m between people.
The head of the Church in Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos, also issued an encyclical with guidelines to be observed following the partial opening of churches on May 4, reports in-cyprus.
Churches will be open from 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM, with church committees responsible for ensuring that no more than 10 people are present in the church at any one time. Services will be celebrated as usual, with open doors.
The faithful can venerate icons, light candles, and submit names for commemorations. Those wishing to receive Holy Communion can do so from 9:00-10:00 AM on feast days and Sundays.
Church committees are also to strictly comply with hygiene regulations, disinfecting the protective glass over icons and making sure that social distancing is respected.