As the entire world grapples with the Coronavirus pandemic, first and foremost we beseech the Lord to protect us all, to lead us to safe and healthy days, and hasten the recovery of those infected.
Following the decision of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, and with the health and safety of our community as our top priority, Western Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, and Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian hereby announce that, effectively immediately, Divine Liturgy and Great Lent Sunrise and Vigil services will be conducted behind closed doors and without the participation of faithful until April 9, Maundy Thursday.
The services will be live streamed on the website and/or Facebook page of each respective Church, whenever possible.
We are certain that our faithful will continue to offer their individual prayers within their homes. Churches will also maintain regular working hours to offer parishioners the opportunity to light candles and say prayers in compliance with official orders limiting the number of people in one place as well as maintaining a safe distance from one another.
In addition, we ask for baptisms and funerals to take place with the presence of immediate family members only. For other rites and services, further information can be obtained from Church offices.
“Der Voghormya” prayers will continue to be offered during Great Lent services and Divine Liturgy for the swift resolution of this crisis, speedy recovery and good health for all.
Once again, we urge all to monitor the situation closely and heed all national, state, and local guidelines as well as updated directives for Church services.
Prayers are needed more than ever in these challenging and uncertain times. Thus, we urge our faithful to follow the services online and join us in prayer from their homes, beseeching the Lord for strength, peace, and healing, for the abatement of the pandemic and return to normalcy.
“By the sign of Your holy and precious Cross, drive away visible and invisible enemies from our midst and from our habitations.”
WESTERN PRELACY TIVAN