Christian denominations that follow the Eastern calendar celebrate Easter with prayers without the presence of worshipers

 On April 19, the Christian communities in Syria, which follow the eastern calendar, celebrated the glorious Easter by holding prayers and liturgies that were restricted to those who performed them without the presence of worshipers, in implementation of the precautionary measures to address the Coronavirus.

In Damascus city, Patriarch of Antioch and the rest of the Levant and the Supreme Head of the Syriac Orthodox Church in the world Patriarch Mar Ignatius Avram II chaired the mass in St. George’s Syriac Orthodox Cathedral in the Bab Touma neighborhood in Damascus.

In his sermon, Patriarch Avram II said: “The resurrection of Christ came to preach to mankind the inevitability of the victory of life over death and to give hope to those who have no hope.”

Patriarch Avram II added: “We congratulate the sons of Syria, Muslims and Christians, on this blessed feast, as we used to celebrate together our festivals, each of us worshiping God in his own way.”

 

Patriarch Avram II concluded his sermon by praying to God Almighty that peace, love and safety prevail in Syria and all parts of the world and that terrorism, killing and destruction stop.”

The torch of the holy light that flooded from the tomb of Jesus in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in occupied Jerusalem came to the Marian Cathedral in Damascus, through the efforts of His Beatitude of the Patriarch of Antioch and the entire East of the Greek Orthodox John X.

The torch was received by Archbishop Avram Maalouli, the Patriarchal Vicar of the Patriarchate and Bishop Musa Al-Khoury, and the Patriarchal Assistant.

In the Governorate of Aleppo, Archimandrite Musa Al-Khasi presided over the feast of the Resurrection of Jesus in the Church of the Prophet Elias  without the presence of worshipers.

The Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox in Aleppo Archbishop Boutros Kassem chaired the mass in the St. Ephrem Cathedral of the Syriac Orthodox.

In the Governorate of Lattakia, a ritual prayer was held in St. Nicolas Church for the Greek Orthodox, performed by the Bishop of Lattakia for the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Athanasius Fahd. The followers watched the ritual prayers on the Church’s website of the Archdiocese in compliance with precautionary measures.

Metropolitan Fahd pointed out in the meanings of the occasion and the necessity of representing the values that Jesus carried for all mankind.

Metropolitan Fahad said that the prayers were restricted to the clergy in order to feel a sense of responsibility and to preservesafety under these difficult epidemiological circumstances.

In the Governorate of Tartus, the celebrations were limited to the holding of prayers and liturgy in the presence of the ones responsible for them. Father Artanyus Laham the Priest of St. Daniel of the Greek Orthodox Church stated that the churches adhered to the precautionary measures to prevent gatherings.

Laham said: “We convey greetings to the medical staff and doctors who are standing in the first front line to protect the country from this epidemic.”

In the city of Hasaka, the Bishop of Al-Jazeera and the Euphrates of the Syriac Orthodox Marmaris Amisih chaired the religious celebration of the Easter held in St. George’s Cathedral of the Syriac Orthodox.

Bishop Amessih emphasized that the celebration of the Easter in this year included those in charge of prayer in order to follow safety procedures. He asked God to enjoy health and well-being on all Syrians and save them from all diseases and epidemics.

In the Governorate of Homs, prayers and masses were restricted to those in charge of them were held without the presence of worshipers. In the ancient Church of Umm al-Zanar in Homs’s Old Town, a Divine Mass was presided over by Bishop Silwans Al-Ne’ma, Bishop of Homs, Hama, and Tartous for the Greek Orthodox.

In the western countryside of Homs, Father Boutros Hazorichaired a mass in the Church of Our Lady of the Shahara, in which he pleaded with God Almighty to preserve Syria, its people, its army, and its leader from all evil.

A mass was also held in the village of Al-Qalatiyyah, presided over by Father Michael Daborah. He called for everyone to enjoy health and well-being and that God Almighty protect Syria and its people.

In the Governorate of Sweida, the  prayers and liturgies were restricted to those who performed them without the presence of worshipers.

Father Philip Al-Muammar, one of the Archdiocese fathers, pointed out the necessity for everyone to be patient, tolerant and adhere to the precautionary measures for the good and safety to tackle the Coronavirus.

In the Church of the Good Shepherd in Sweida city, the preacher in the National Evangelical Christian Union Church in Sweida  Kabi Battah called on the countries of the world to lift the unilateral economic measures on Syria to get the necessary medicines to face the epidemic.

In the Governorate of Daraa, prayers were held without the presence of worshipers. Father Gerges Rizk, the Priest of the Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Daraa urged everyone to offer congratulations and greetings either by phone or via the Internet to preserve their health.

O.al-Mohammad

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