My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Grace and Peace be with you all.
As the whole world grapples with the global pandemic of Covid-19, countries around the world are implementing measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus. As you all know, the Prime Minister of India, Shri. Narendra Modi ji has made the strong call for the lock-down in India. At the same time, the leaders of the other countries around the world, have imposed similar restrictions worldwide. Without any doubt, now we know that it was a timely action to save thousands of lives. We thank God for that. Our church at large is fully committed to follow these instructions without fail. I appreciate all of you for abiding with the instructions in this regard.
But as you know, the most important and sacred week of the entire church calendar – The Holy Week is just a few days away. Usually, all the faithful spend the Holy Week together in the Parishes with prayers and meditations to remembering the last week of the earthly life of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, in the prevailing situation, it is a reality that we will not be able to come together as a community or parish to celebrate the Holy Week.
While we feel sad about it, let me remind you that it is important to abide by the regulations and
instructions given by our Governmental authorities from time to time. Not only does the Holy Scripture say that it is God who appoints authorities over us, but also asks us to respect, obey and pray for them. This lockdown is in fact a way in which we can obey the command of Jesus to love our neighbours as ourselves.
No gathering of any kind, in any of our parishes (local churches) and Diocesan Campuses should take place during this time. Please continue to pray at home along with your family members during the Holy Week, as you have been already doing for the Lenten Prayers and Sunday Worship. The Holy Synod of our Church has circulated Liturgies for the Lenten Season and Holy Week services, aptly fitting into the present situation and need.
Let us strictly adhere to the government orders until the lock-down period is over and await
Lastly let me admonish you to continuously pray for the prime ministers/presidents/leaders of all nations, for wisdom to lead their countries at this crucial period, for essential workers who are providing essential services during this time, for the doctors, nurses, health departments, paramedical persons, police department, media and all those who are engaged in the welfare works and service of the people and for the protection of all people and speedy recovery of all those are affected by the virus.
Wishing you all peace and grace of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit.
In Your Service for the Holy Church,
Moran Mor Athanasius Yohan I Metropolitan
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