No Easter?!

In Europe, where I live, it is now illegal to have any gatherings of more than 100 people. All liturgical masses are halted. If this goes on longer, it will mean no Easter celebrations, no pascha. 

Is this right?? It will be the 2nd time in my life to never celebrate Easter.


  • edited March 2020
    You should thank God, our diocese (and many others) have suspended ALL Liturgies.
    Other neighbouring dioceses have a maximum of 50 per Liturgy.
    And in America only 1 Priest and 2 Deacons are to celebrate the Liturgy, while congregants watch the live stream.
    Just keep on praying!!!!!
  • what about Easter mass??
    what about the Pascha?
  • If we are lucky, we will just continue doing the same thing with pascha and Resurrection. Nothing changes.
  • Hi Mina
    What do you mean if you are lucky? 
    Are public or private gatherings not prohibited in the states? 
    In France, and Europe in general, all public gatherings are prohibited: 

    * No church services
    * No shops
    * Not even allowed in the streets.. 

    The only places open are grocery stores and you cannot even pay by cash. They will only take credit cards. 

    This is not the case in the USA? 

    All I'm saying is that if this continues, it will be the saddest Easter not to be able to celebrate the Holy Resurrection. 

    What will you do for Easter?? Perhaps we can install CTV?
  • In the USA, it's different. Each state is responsible for itself while they work with the federal government...states with large numbers are taking serious actions. In NJ for example, all dine-in restaurants are already closed, except if they deliver (that's open and allowed. There is also a curfew to be implemented from 8pm-5am. Already, by law, no events of any type that have more then 50, Catholic churches already closed a while back. Oh, major shops are to limit accepting shoppers, depending on space.

    The bottom line is, we think that we are getting very close to cities and states being fully shut down to stop the possibility of the spread. 

    Nothing different will happen if this continues to Resurrection. Still, smaller contained services or even cancellation of them as some already are doing.

    Don't think about it too much. The Church is responsible for us to be physically alive before anything else. And we just have to continue praying as the people of God. 
  • i am very sorry some churches are doing this. COVID 19 has a MAX (more like 2%) 3% death rate, so i am very sad to hear small liturgies have been cancelled in some places.

    i understand people may postpone Bible studies and social events, but i disagree on postponing liturgy. we need to sacraments so that we don't panic or over react (or become cynical and laugh at people panicking).

    may God give our fathers wisdom and I pray all orthodox churches stay open (maybe limiting people to 100 per liturgy if needed).

    there have been many plagues in Egyptian history, i don't recall reading that churches were closed before (except closed by force during persecution).

  • I agree, let's keep praying and God will reveal His will for us in regards to the matter.

    Just don't forget your Spiritual lives, as we have all this time on our hands with school and work closures.
  • Very well said @mabsoota.. I disagree with @minatasgeel's comment that the church ought to be concerned with our physical lives. Her primary aim is not to be of this world, however you would like to interpret my statement..
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • im not too sure about Ophadece: The church has to be socially responsible. It cannot go and willingly do a liturgy that unwittingly puts people's lives at risk. It cannot do that, so Mina's point is valid. The way he phrased it may be wrong, but the idea is right: it has to ensure our physical safety.

    So let's say abouna receives a letter warning him that the balcony in the church, if more than 20 people sit up there, there is a risk that the balcony will collapse. If this abouna celebrates a mass, and allows people to use the balconies because of shortage of space in the main church, he is being irresponsible. 

    It is just terribly sad that Easter is going to be missed
  • edited March 2020
    @ophadece, I don't disagree with you when you say "The Church's primary aim is not to be of this world"...but who said that caring for our physical life is a worldly concern?! Our bodies were created by God and we, in the person of Adam & Eve, walked with God in Paradise with such bodies. Now, with the fall, we lost that grace, and many more that has given death authority over us....just until the Crucifixion. But these bodies are those exact ones. It's even the one that God Himself took, and honored by His Incarnation.

    I am not saying go to one extreme where we only care about the body, nor the other extreme of early gnosticism that St. Paul had to address in 1 Timothy.....but there is a middle ground here, and that's what the Church, in all Her wisdom, is trying to accomplish. 
  • I have not commented here in a while.

    I am a physician.
    I beg you to please halt all congregations at all Coptic Churches.
    Have the priest do the liturgy and live-stream it.
    No congregation.
    I beg you.
    You speak of this as if it is a government imposed annoyance.
    This is not. The government is doing the bare minimum.
    You speak of a 2% mortality laughably. 
    Do not laugh at this. If at the lowest projection 30% of Americans are infected that would mean 2 million would die.
    This is a great evil we have not seen in our lifetimes and will change us forever.

    Pray in your homes. Go out only for groceries. The Lord will be there.
    This is not about you. This is about the older and weaker among us who cannot fight this.
    There is emerging evidence that young healthy asymptomatic and lightly symptomatic patients are huge drivers of spread.
    Are you willing to put it on your conscience that the older man you sat next to at Church or the asthmatic you ate with after liturgy is now in the ICU and on the door of death because you gave them the coronavirus?
    As Christians and human beings, you have a responsibility towards these vulnerable people.

    Please pray brother and sisters.
    I work on the front lines in an ICU. I am terrified.
    I have no treatment for this.
    I will try my best to keep people alive until their immune system fights this off but what I can do is limited and ressources are spread thin. Do not force me to choose between who I keep alive.
    Do what you can and limit your contacts. Please. This is our generation's war. I am not asking you to go to war; I am asking you to stay home.
  • Well, I sort of said the same thing: if the church's balcony was estimated to be weak, no matter how many people wanted to attend mass, it would be irresponsible for a priest to let people use the balcony. It has to be fixed 1st. 

    Safety 1st.
  • @Zoxsasi and @minatasgeel please let's agree to disagree. I am someone with odd ideas.
    The church was wrong to comply with the government decision to close Sunday schools on the day of the opening match of the African Cup.
    The church was wrong to set a time earlier than midnight for the Nativity feast liturgy after the bombing of the two saints church in Alexandria.
    I believe I am probably the only person who believes that, so it is OK to disagree with me.
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • @ophdece,

    Im not sure what your point is: When the Church was threatened by ISIS a few years back, we still attended mass. But a virus where we could be killed and then go off and harm others is just irresponsible. 

    We need to think at how we can celebrate Easter from being in our homes??
  • @Zoxsasi,
    Difficult for me to answer, but I would rather go to God's house and be infected there (or rather die there). Should this be the hierarchical view? I don't know, they are in a difficult position but I think they should..
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • Fair enough,  many also would agree with that @ophadece

    The problem is that you may kill others with you.
  • That is very true @Zoxsasi and that is why I would expect that my wife, brother, son, or parents to not mind me staying in God's house with them - but should this be the attitude of the rest of the congregation? Oops, actually it should, but I will be the first person to avoid going to church if an Eritrean guy is infected.. Oh I am racist too.. Pray for me..
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • don't get the racist joke...

    hope you are not being racist; i would be very disappointed.

    as for going to church, you don't have to sit next to anyone. keep a good distance.

    avoid hugs (just like an extended Holy Week, smile but no kiss).

    go mid week if you work schedule allows you (many of us have to work, agriculture, hospitals, police etc) so that only those who can't go mid week go on sunday, so there will be less people.

    take a bottle of water with you to drink after liturgy, and some gluten free bread if you can't eat the orban, then this will be enough food and drink so that you can then travel home (you need to eat something, especially if cycling, see below!).

    don't stay for tea and coffee, wave at people you meet and then call them later from home.

    where there is no public transport, find out who lives near you and offer them a lift if you have a car.

    cycle if you live close enough and not disabled/wobbly from old age (will give you strong lungs so you are less likely to die if infected).

    just my opinion, and i also work in healthcare.

  • Face-palm at the gluten free bread lol
  • @ophadece basha - how are you? You don't seem your usual self. I trust everything is OK. 

  • Guys,

    I really think you ought to read this:

    You cannot go to church. The virus carrier will not know he is carrying a virus. It may take 5 to 10 days for symptoms to show. When it shows, he/she would have already infected 10's of others around them. 

    These were not old folk... early 50's. All dead.
  • many of our churches give a generous portion of blessed bread / orban (around 100g, 3oz), enough to cycle 3 or 4 miles (5 or 6 km)! not everyone can eat it though, and i'm trying to be inclusive!

    i get belly ache after around 25g (irritable bowel syndrome) and friends in my church have coeliac disease, so i always have gluten free snacks in my rucksack (call me if you come to uk!)

  • @mabsoota,

    Sorry, you lost me, what does Covid19 have to do with orbana? 
  • @Zoxsasi
    I am OK thank God and thank you very much for asking.. I am just disappointed about what is happening. First time I am seeing evidence of disbelief and impiety (I think that is how it spells, for the sake of avoiding saying ungodliness or atheism) from many respected figures at least for me. I didn't think that the words of the carols and Christian songs were mere mottos and vain - things like "your promise is true and immovable" : "my faith is unshakable" when some people start arguing against taking Communion through the masteer or you being afraid of going to church lest you get killed. Sorry I have to be blunt, sarcastic, or foolish but I really am very disappointed. The Book of Revelation talks about stars that will fall, and the oil drying up. Now I am getting the meaning, it is so clear.
    Anyway, I need your prayers..
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • @ophadece

    Are you seriously thinking of going to church??
  • @ophadece

    You have a high level of education, my friend. God gave us intelligence, rationality, logic and a conscience.

    I believe that we receive the Body and Blood of Christ. I believe that God is present with us through His Holy Angels during the Divine Liturgy.

    I also believe the Eucharist is not a right. Is your faith only represented when you attend Liturgy?

    If we were concerned about others, would we attend Liturgy? All I have heard is how this is difficult for [×], i.e., you, fellow converts, and my wife.

    It is not the Devil who is creating this issue, it is our own selfishness and pride, which makes us feel entitled to the Eucharist.

    You would rather go to God's house and infect five or ten people, and have three or four die? You wouldn't die instantly, it would be over time. So, your argument is not plausible.

    The idea is to greatly reduce the rate of transmission. This is meant to be a selfless act, for the betterment of everyone, not just you.

    When we look at some of the most basic teachings Our Lord has taught us about others, it is sacrificing everything for another person. Not just to bring them to God, but through our own actions.

    This is part of our sacrifice. Not because you don't care if you get sick, but because you may unknowingly pass it to others in their family who are vulnerable.

    This should be a time of rebuilding the foundation of our faith. God is within each of us in all aspects of our lives. We get caught up in what we believe we deserve, when what is most important is within our hearts. This should allow us to have a greater appreciation for the Divine Liturgy, our Clergy and our community.

  • Romans 13:1-3:
    Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.

    God has given us a very clear command here to obey the governing authorities, which, for me and all my American brothers and sisters here, is the CDC, as well as the World Health Organization. They have said, for the sake of the general healthcare system, NOT to congregate. As Italian said, physicians are not concerned with necessarily keeping people from being infected- it is making sure the hospitals that we have do not get overwhelmed. Again: we will all get sick eventually, statistically speaking. The goal is to make sure that the hospital doesn’t have to choose between giving the last hospital bed to Uncle Foulan or Tante Foulana.
    Yes, this sucks. I am a servant, a deacon, a Christian, and not having a church open is devastating to me. I also know that having an open church with the entire congregation becoming a disease epicenter with half the elders in the hospital suffering through pneumonia is a much more horrible thing.

    If the CDC and WHO say not to gather, and we disregard them, we bring judgement upon ourselves (literally, take judgement). I personally would not like to invite judgement upon myself, nor would I ask any of the people God has entrusted to me to do so. In this spirit, I encourage everyone, especially those who love the Church, to stay home.
  • Dear @ItalianCoptic,
    I believe that going to church protects anyone from being infected because it is God's house. However if He wills for me to be infected and infect others inside His house, then that is His will. We should not stop going to church period.
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • @ophadece,

    I think it is God's will that we go to Church. It is depressing to be at home and not go to Church. I admit that. 

    This isn't a war against religion, @ophadece. They are simply measures to curb a disease that spreads so quickly and easily. 

    I went grocery shopping yesterday, and everyone was wearing a mask. It is amazing. I have never seen anything like this.

    I don't understand why you cannot pray in your home? So you have the readings for today? Correct?? 

    Go and read them. 

  • But what about taking Communion? It is a necessity for our Spiritual nourishment, and we don't know how many weeks this will go on for...
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