Dearly Beloved in the Lord,
Glory to Jesus Christ!
In yesterday's church closure message I said I would send out some information & resources to help carry our prayer life as we isolate ourselves in obedience to our archbishop, who has closed all churches in the diocese to protect us from this terrible virus, and the civil authorities that are calling for these drastic measures to protect the public, even in the face of very troubling economic times. I hope these items will be of great benefit to us all!
1) I would like to utilize online meeting technology so we can still pray & meet together. We have already used Zoom for the Church Services class and Sunday's council meeting, and I would like to offer this option for Wednesday evening Compline, the Great Canon & Life of St. Mary in a few weeks, and potentially other significant dates/feasts upcoming. This method is also being used at our diocesan cathedral of the Holy Trinity in San Francisco (see https://www.oca.org/news/headline-news/clergy-keep-communities-connected-during-outbreak). Please e-mail me privately if you are interested in participating.
2) I've attached a PDF of the Small Compline service that we use at the Mission on Wednesday evenings (it's specifically tailored to Wednesdays at a St. Tikhon church). It's paginated in a booklet format, so would probably be easiest to print it front & back and fold over.
3) The diocese of New York/New Jersey is publishing reader services for those who are unable to attend church. An example for this evening:
Visit the diocesan home page (https://www.nynjoca.org) for links to the latest edition.
4) Also published by the Diocese of NY/NJ is a "Reader’s Service of Prayer for Protection from the Coronavirus" that we can all pray at home:
5) There are several parishes & monasteries online that are broadcasting their services. A few of them include:
- https://www.holycross.org (ROCOR mens' monastery on old calendar)
- http://www.orthodoxmonasteryellwoodcity.org/chapel (OCA Romanian women's monastery)
- https://athanasiusoca.org/2020/03/a-lent-none-of-us-expected/ (OCA parish in Kentucky)
I'm sure there are plenty of others, please send me an e-mail if there are any that you'd like to highlight.
I again refer you to His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon's message (see https://www.oca.org/news/headline-news/holy-synod-issues-coronavirus-statment-metropolitan-tikhon-addresses-the-faithful), notably:
I call on the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America to make good use of this time and renew their faith and hope in God through prayer and fasting, and by being of service to their brothers and sisters. The exhortation of the great Prophet Isaiah should guide us. He called out to the ancient people of Israel “If you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,” in other words, if we stay united, relieve one another of the burdens that this virus has placed on us, “if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday (Isaiah 58.10).” In the darkness of anxiety and sickness, in the gloom of the disruption of our lives, these words of the prophet point us to the True Light, Jesus Christ, the great Physician and Healer of our souls and bodies, who gave his life for us so that we might live with Him eternally.
With love in Christ,