Bucharest, May 18, 2020
The Romanian Orthodox faithful were blessed to begin attending open-air services on Friday May 15, following a period of quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In preparation for the return, the Church issued guidelines “regarding the access of Orthodox believers to places of worship and cemeteries, and their participation in divine services.”
Many of the guidelines are typical of those issued by several dioceses and Local Churches over the past few months: The faithful must maintain a distance of 2 meters between them; the elderly and sick are recommended to stay home during the services and to confess and commune at a time agreed upon with the priest; masks are mandatory; disinfectant will be provided in every church, and so on.
Regarding the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, the Romanian Patriarchate completely rejects any changes to the manner of communing the faithful. One-time use spoons and chalices are unacceptable for the Orthodox Church, the statement reads:
For the Universal Orthodox Church, there are no sacred (sanctified) objects for single-use, but for perpetual use (Chalice, disk, star and spoon), objects that are cleaned before and after every use. In the practice of the Universal Orthodox Church, the use of the common spoon in the Eucharist has not been a source of contamination for any Orthodox believer in the past or the last two months of the pandemic.
“Therefore, the Romanian Orthodox Church, according to its centuries-old liturgical tradition, cannot accept, even in times of pandemic, the use of the single-use chalice and spoon for Communion of the faithful during the Divine Liturgy,” the statement concludes about the celebration of the Eucharist.