Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov

On the Closure of Churches – 2

Posted in Reflections, Uncategorized by Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov on 23 March 2020

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On the Closure of Churches

Liturgical Minyan

Fasting During a Pandemic

My previous post “On the Closure of Churches” made some people wonder whether I am not taking the threat of the viral pandemic seriously, or whether I am advocating for some sort of disobedience to our civil authorities. I do not think that it is absolutely necessary for me to clarify my position. First of all, I try to make it abundantly clear that I am not a medical doctor, nor do I have any training in virology. Anyone who cares about what a non-expert like me thinks about such complex matters as pandemics, is making a serious error in his or her judgment. Secondly, not only did I not advocate for breaking social-distancing rules, but we, along with everyone else, have dutifully closed our services to the public and are in full compliance with all applicable government orders.

That said, however, I find it important to continue the conversation about the place in which the Holy Church finds Herself today. Should our only response to the government’s order to jump be in asking ‘how high?’ Or should we have a healthy degree of self-awareness and take personal responsibility for both our physical and spiritual health and needs? I trust it is obvious to everyone that the situation with the pandemic is developing very rapidly, and many things are in a state of flux. But here are a few things that I find important to observe and of which to be aware. (more…)

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On the Closure of Churches

Posted in Practical Matters, Reflections, Uncategorized by Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov on 20 March 2020

See also:

On the Closure of Churches – 2

Liturgical Minyan

Fasting During a Pandemic

Update 2020-03-21: On March 20, 2020 Illinois Governor Pritzker issued an executive order the prohibited “all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household.” Thus, the order prohibits all and any religious activities or services, unless officiated by members of a single household, and shuts down all churches. Strangely, this order exempts liquor stores and recreational cannabis dispensaries (presumably, due to their essential function). [*] 

2020-03-20: In a surreal move, governors of several states banned religious worship. The governor of Wisconsin, for example, specifically included religious worship in his ban on gatherings greater than 10 people (which naturally applies to all but the very smallest mission congregations and would have banned even Christ Himself from congregating with His 12 apostles), while the governor of New York banned all “non-essential” gatherings of any size. (It is unclear at this point whether Andrew Cuomo would consider the celebration of the Eucharist–even by just one priest and one chanter–to be essential, but my best guess is that he would not.) (more…)

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