It was dubbed the quietest Easter ever in the long history of Orthodoxy and Christianity
The coronavirus restrictions made no exceptions, forcing thousands of Orthodox faithfuls in Adelaide as well as around the world to resort to their laptops, tablets and TV sets to allow the Easter spirit into their homes.
The Passion of Christ or as Greeks call it the ‘Divine Drama’ walked along the footsteps of the COVID-19 drama throughout the Holy Week, making it a digital revolution for Church and the practising of faith.
This year’s reference point for all Easter services for the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia was the Cathedral of Archangels Michael and Gabriel in the city.
Usually packed out, this year the hymns and chanting by the four priests and the chanters throughout the Holy Week echoed on the walls of the empty cathedral, while all the services were broadcast live on the Community’s social media.
Alongside the Cathedral’s Vicar Father John Konidaris, the rest of the Community’s clergy, including Archimandrite Mark Papapanagiotou, Father Panagiotis Anagnostou and Father Vasilios Apostolou, participated in conducting the services.
The only one “attending” the services was the small camera, installed inside the church to facilitate with the live broadcasting.
Both on Good Friday and Holy Saturday the services were conducted as per normal without the usual procession of Christ’s tomb around the block, but with hundreds of people tuning in to YouTube and Facebook to watch the services live.
The Greek Orthodox Community’s President Mr Bill Gonis said Easter was very difficult and different for all of us but we were required to go through this to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
“This year due to the circumstances our homes have temporarily become places of worship,” Mr Gonis said.
The Community’s churches will continue to conduct services behind closed doors and with online links for live broadcast on the internet, until further notice.
In the light of the latest developments regarding the spread of novel virus COVID-19 on a global scale and putting the community’s health and safety as our priority, the President Mr Bill Gonis and the Administrative Council of the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia, after assessing all incoming communication and information from the Department of Health regarding the health crisis, has decided to postpone all scheduled social events.
The list of events to be postponed includes all Elders’ Group gatherings and events organised by the Women’s Fellowships, all cultural events and any of the Community’s social gathering, until further notice.
The Ridleyton Greek Home for the Aged is now on lockdown and will remain so until further notice. For the safety of the Home’s residents but also for the wider community, no visits are permitted at this stage.
After consulting with the State Authorities and the Community’s clergy, the Administrative Council wishes to advise our members the following:
Priests to conduct services inside the church only accompanied by the chanter and behind closed doors.
The Community’s clergy encourages all faithful to stay home where they can still practice their religious needs by praying or by watching the church service online through our digital media.
For any ecclesiastical needs and for further information you can get in touch with your local priests by telephone.
We thank you all for your understanding and we hope to have your full support and cooperation in this crucial health matter.