When the quarantine restrictions are lifted, the dispensation that exempted us from going to church will be revoked, the Head of the UGCC
Saturday, July 25, 2020
Even during quarantine, we understand that participating in the Liturgy online is a temporary solution. We may spend some time praying online, but it is wrong to completely refuse to go to church. This position of the Church was expressed by His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, in a commentary for the UGCC Information Department.
“I hope that the state authorities will one day declare victory over the coronavirus and lift all quarantine restrictions. Then it will be the time to resume the public celebration of Divine Liturgy,” His Beatitude Sviatoslav added.
The Head of the Church explained that God’s commandment to celebrate the holy day exists even during lockdown and no one can cancel it. For us, Christians, observing a holy day means attending the Liturgy, and neither secular nor church authorities can remove this by their order. But since there are now objective, insurmountable obstacles to visiting worship services, the Church, as a good mother, meets her children and gives certain dispensations (exemptions) so we may celebrate the holy day not in the temple but at home.
“The gift of the Eucharist gives rise to a church commandment that obliges us to participate in the Sunday Divine Liturgy. Since there is an exemption from this obligation during the quarantine, we do not need to confess missing Sunday service,” explained His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
At the same time, the Archbishop emphasized that a person who participates in prayer online should not be like an outsider watching this broadcast as a spectacle, but an active participant, as if he were in church.
“When the quarantine restrictions are lifted, the dispensation from the obligation to participate in the Liturgy will be revoked,” the Head of the Church said.
The UGCC Department for Information