The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America decided that each Metropolitan will be responsible for the reopening of his local parishes which are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance with local health and public safety regulations.
The announcement of the reopening of churches came after His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America convened the Holy Eparchial Synod via videoconference on Thursday. The Hierarchs discussed the issue and decided on the process.
Based on the current reopening plans that are being executed around the country, it was decided that each Metropolitan would be responsible for the reopening of his local parishes in accordance with local health and public safety mandates, which might vary within an individual Metropolis.
Noting the importance of recommencing with Holy Communion, each Hierarch will determine procedures in accordance with local guidelines for social distancing, preparation of the churches and attendant facilities, and best practices for the local clergy to observe.
The Holy Eparchial Synod also decided that the same will apply to the celebration of Sacraments and other services.
Commenting after the meeting, the Archbishop said:
“We are all deeply concerned, not only for the health of our Faithful, but for their morale and their spiritual life. We know that re-opening the Churches with attention to nuance of the facts on the ground is the best way to proceed. As Shepherds of our flocks, we are committed to reopening, and with an abiding sense of responsibility for the spiritual health of the Faithful.”