Metropolitan Myron of New Zealand: ‘This is a time for us to put a greater weight, a more focused significance, on our personal prayer life, on our personal communication with God!’
Metropolitan Myron of New Zealand has issued his latest announcement regarding the Sacred Services during the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. Read the full text below:
Wellington 1st of April 2020
the Clergy, the Monastic Brotherhoods and Sisterhoods and the reverent plentitude of the Holy Metropolis of New Zealand (Fiji, Tonga, Samoa)
Beloved siblings and children in the Lord,
I am devoutly praying for you, setting my hope on our Lord Jesus Christ who is the Saviour of our life, that you and yours have health of body, soul and mind.
We continue the journey of Holy and Great Lent and soon we will be at the threshold of Great and Holy Week which brings us to the empty tomb of the Resurrection of Our Lord. This much is certain.
The never before encountered and unusual circumstances in which we live, which include the restriction of our travel, our contacts with others, the closing of our sacred churches and chapels and the suspension of our Sacred Services brings us all to an untenable and challenging situation. According to the forecast of the Governments and International Organizations, it seems likely that the present state of affairs will continue for a few more weeks perhaps months.
It distresses and pains us all, however, this doesn’t mean that we will remain without action and response. Our priority is that we not place the physical health of our brothers and sisters, our neighbors, and those most dear to us–even our entire Community and Nation at risk.
This is a situation, a circumstance that we must learn to live through with patience hope and prayer. We won’t lose our faith! We won’t lose our courage! This is a time for us to put a greater weight, a more focused significance, on our personal prayer life, on our personal communication with God! We mustn’t stop talking with him! We mustn’t stop glorifying and doxologizing him! We mustn’t stop thanking him! We mustn’t stop entreating him! Now is the time to transform our homes into churches!
In this effort and during this holy period we have the assistance of technology, of broadcasts over television or the internet of our Sacred Services, services which are being held in Orthodox Churches all over the world!
Naturally, watching the Sacred Services over the internet or on television cannot replace our personal prayer, nor does it ever, in any way, fulfill our participation in the Sacred Mysteries of our Church, in the Divine Liturgy, and the receiving of the Sacred Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Rather, it is simply a consolation, an assistance (it cannot be the same in essence) as we wait for the cessation of this trial and the opportunity to return to our churches and our regular and soul enriching Church attendance.
Throughout the duration of this crisis and during these holy days, our priests throughout New Zealand and Oceania will serve the Sacred Services for the sanctification of our land and her people the without for the time being the presence of our faithful.
In conclusion, we would like to express our boundless gratitude which we feel for all those in the health field who work in support of our good health during this critical time unti we resume undeterred our Community and Communal life.
Praying and beseeching our Lord Jesus Christ and with much love,
+ M Y R O N of New Zealand
Sts Raphael Nicholas & Irene, Liverpool Fr Prochoros
St Sypridon, Kingsford, Fr Steven
Resurrection of our Lord. Kogarah Sydney Fr Sophrony
Presentation of our Lord, Coburg Melbourne Fr Eustathios and Fr Leonidas
St George Brisbane, Fr Dimitri
Prophet Elias Norwood Fr Michael
Bishop Elpidios of Kyaneon
Dormition of Theotokos Neapoleos