The Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt has issued a statement announcing cautionary measures against the spread of Coronavirus. The statement reads:
“In solidarity with President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi’s direction to suspend school and university classes all over the country for two weeks as a cautionary measure against the spread of novel Coronavirus COVID-19, the Coptic Church announces the following decisions:
Suspension of all Sunday School classes of all ages, as well as public meetings in various churches.
Suspension of all Church activities that involve large-number gatherings. This includes nurseries, rehabilitation centres, trips, and others.
Suspension of study at all theological institutes and colleges.
Holding more than one Mass daily to avoid crowding, especially on holidays and days off.
Every worshipper attending Holy Mass should make sure beforehand that he or she has no fever or flu symptoms.
Every one should bring his or her personal items used during worship and Communion, such as water bottle, scarf, or ‘lefafa’; and should avoid shaking hands with others as much as possible.
“We will keep on praying that God may save Egypt and all the world from any harm, and rescue humans from epidemic diseases. We believe in His promise ‘I am with you always, even to the end of times.’ (Matthew 28:20)
“Saturday 14 March 2020
5 Baramhat 1736”
In Los Angeles, Metropolitan Serapion sent a message to the priests of his Diocese. The message read:
“Dear Rev Fathers
Following the declaration of the President of USA Sunday 15th March National Day of Prayer I call all our parish Churches to offer on this Sunday prayers and message of hope and peace and assurance of God’s love and protection. Also I encourage our churches in Vespers and Matins to pray the five short litanies audibly especially the litany for the place .
**Some additional guidelines*
A- From now till the Feast of Holy Resurrection
1- To limit church services to Vespers, Matins and Eucharistic Liturgies and the full Holy Week services .
2- To replace the Sunday School Classes by Sunday Home Schooling where parents receive the lessons with guidelines to teach their kids at home and /or to develop online classes and /or Logos TV classes.
Also develop tele service to replace youth meetings Arabic and English and church meetings like bible study, family meetings ..etc
3- To celebrate additional liturgies on Sunday and on Saturday
4- To close church kitchen .
5- During the liturgy when the deacon call to greet one another with holy kiss , everyone can express his/her peace and love to the other one by bowing head with his/her hand on his/her heart towards the other one. By the same gesture everyone can greet the priest and the priest in turn bless him/her with sign of the Cross .
6- Some Deacons after careful washing their hands with water and soap may cut the eulogia and every parishioner may take by him/herself a piece after liturgy
7- No sharing of kissing the gospel or drinking the water after washing the chalice and paten
B- From now till the end of summer no outside activities like retreats, conferences, sports, spiritual competition AlKaraza Festival ..etc
C- From now till the end of 2020 no missionary trips
D- Special pastoral care should be provided to the elderly people as they are the most vulnerable group.
To encourage them to come to weekdays liturgy and keep distance from one another during liturgies as possible . No senior meetings or activities and more home visits to them .
May Our Lord protect His people and grant healing to the sick and comfort to those who lost loved ones
and fill our hearts and the whole world with peace and joy.
In London, Bishop Angaelos posted the following message on his Twitter account.
15 March 2020