Govt expected to accept Church of Greece Holy Synod’s proposal to hold Easter (Pascha) Week services at all cathedrals, but without worshipers
The Greek government is expected to announce new restrictive measures on non-essential movement outdoors, which will extend to Easter Holy Week.
Emergency measures aimed to reduce possible exposure to the coronavirus have already been officially extended to April 27, the week after Holy and Great Easter. Orthodoxy this year celebrates Easter Sunday on April 19.
According to reports, the Greek government is expected to accept a proposal by the permanent Holy Synod of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Greece to hold services, including the highly devotional and iconic late-night Resurrection mass on Easter Saturday in all churches, and not only those equipped for radio-television coverage – but without worshipers, in keeping with the restrictive measures in place.
The Church of Greece will also be called upon to dissuade the faithful from assembling outside churches and chapels, amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
At the same time, the relevant digital governance ministry has reportedly offered know-how and infrastructure to all parishes that desire to broadcast their Holy Week services live via the Internet.
In a related development, Athens has also reportedly finalized arrangement with the Israeli government for the annual transportation of the Holy Flame from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem back to Greece aboard a state executive jet.