This page will contain all the latest information regarding the impact of Coronavirus on the Diocese, and the church in general. Cancellations, updates, resources and all other matters related to this will be posted here. Check back often as the situation is fluid and updates happen regularly.
The website "Tending the Garden of our Hearts: Weekly Meditations for Orthodox Families" has listed many resources for Orthodox Christians to turn to as we approach Holy Week and Pascha. As all of Pennsylvania are required to stay at home, the list of resources will help to create a "little church" in your own home and celebrate the Feast of Feasts.
The texts of the propers sung at Vespers (stichera on "Lord I call," Litya, Aposticha, Troparia and Kontakia that change daily according to either the day of the week or particular day of the month). Texts are "pointed" to be sung according to the tonal patterns of the Common Chant (L'vov-Bakhmetev Obikhod, 1869 edition). Texts are formatted in MS Word. Print these pages for your use in liturgical worship!
Ancient Faith has published a helpful article for all Orthodox Christians entitled: "Logistics: Planning Holy Week and Pascha at Home" offering many useful suggestions for making your home a "little church" during the Feast of Feasts.
The Diocese of the West (OCA) has made published "Holy Week and Pascha: Home Resource Guide" for use by the faithful when turning your home into a "Little Church." The file is printable but does contain links to various resources on the internet.
His Eminence, Archbishop MARK has released an Archpastoral Directive regarding continued suspension of services.
Historically the church has endured many pandemics, inﬂuenzas, viral diseases and common illnesses which have plagued us throughout the ages. All the while Christ’s Church has endured and even prospered. The true plague which is always at our door is sinfulness.
“Evil is passed on so quickly, like a contagious disease. If you mix with people who gossip, who slander, who love worldly things, then without realizing it you will fall into the same passions. On the other hand, if you spend your time with people who are spiritual and prayerful, then their virtues will be passed on to you.” Starets Parenij of the Lavra of the Caves in Kiev
So let us not be overcome by evil but let us in the words of Saint Paul “overcome evil with good!”
May Christ Himself sanctify us as we embrace His Cross during this time of Great Lent. Yes, for the most part we are deprived of our Lenten Services and Divine Liturgy but we must then turn to prayer and increased acts of kindness and charity with humility towards one another and to those who are in need. We do this in our own communities and also for our neighbors throughout the world.
Fr. John Nightingale
With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Mark
Dear to God,
Christ is in our midst! As we are in uncharted waters seeking to continue ministering to the faithful of the Diocese, we have compiled the following list of parishes and their schedules for Live Stream of Services.
As these are prayer services allowing you to participate at home, I would ask that you remain attentive and prayerful during the service and participate and engage in the prayers together with our clergy. The Live Stream is not entertainment, but an opportunity for us all to be around the Throne of God in prayer together.
For those who are watching the livestream, a fellow priest wrote some very good guidelines to help keep us engaged and in a prayerful mindset:
• Before the start of the service, place your device (phone, television, computer, tablet) on or near your icon corner; OR, surround your device with one or more icons.
• Turn off all possible distractions (phone, notifications, oven, alarms, etc.)
• Like you do before church, take care of all personal needs beforehand.
• Dress like you would for a regular Sunday Divine Liturgy. (Casual clothes may encourage a casual, non-prayerful attitude.)
• Follow your regular pattern for maintaining the Eucharistic fast, refraining from food, coffee, etc. until after the Liturgy.
• Print the available service booklets and have them in hand.
• Follow along during the services, and sing/speak along with us, in whatever way you normally would do during the Liturgy.
• As you are able, stand, sit, and kneel as you normally would do during the Liturgy.
• Finally, resist the urge to offer any comments online until after the Liturgy is over.
In short, I encourage you to make these few hours a time of sincere devotion and worship.
CHRIST THE SAVIOUR, HARRISBURG
Will Live Stream Saturday Vespers at 5 p.m. and Typica at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. Clergy and parishioners may access the services through Christ the Saviour Facebook Page. Those who have a Facebook Account may access it by logging onto their own account and searching in the search line next to the Facebook Logo “Christ the Saviour” or through Youtube
HOLY APOSTLES, MECHANICSBURG
Will provide Live Stream. They will include the Wednesday PreSanctified Liturgy at 6:20 p.m. and Divine Liturgy at 9:30 a.m. through their Facebook page. You may access their Facebook page from their parish website.
HOLY TRINITY, WILKES-BARRE
Will Live Stream through their Facebook page. Great Vespers 5 p.m., Hours 8:45 and Divine Liturgy at 9 a.m., Wed. Feast of Annunciation 6 p.m. Liturgy, Friday Ahkathist with Litya 6:30 p.m. Please access services through their parish website.
HOLY ANNUNCIATION, BERWICK
Will be providing Live Stream of the Divine Liturgy through their Facebook page. You may click on their Facebook Link on their Parish website home page to follow them 9:30 Divine Liturgy
HOLY CROSS, WILLIAMSPORT
will also Live Stream services through their Facebook page. 5 p.m. Vespers and 9:40 Liturgy. You may access their Facebook page in the right column of their Parish website home page
Dear ones, better than watching services online is offering them within our families, in our houses which have always been the ‘Small Churches’.
Here is a link to service texts—at the very least, I commend to you the Typika Service for Sunday Morning. It is beautiful and simple, easily offered as a family, with the Scripture lessons proper to the day. Get up, shower and dress, assemble as a family in front of your Icon Corner, light your candles and incense if you have it when your parish’s Divine Liturgy is scheduled to begin, and offer this service together.
Yours in Christ,
+Mark, Archbishop of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania
Materials for Domestic Worship are now available and variable texts updated weekly. (Courtesy of Saint Athanasius Orthodox Church, Nicholasville, KY)
• Text for Lay Service with Prayers Concerning Pandemic
• Text of Lenten Vespers (used in place of Presanctified Liturgy) (booklet form–new!)
• Text for Lay Saturday Night Great Vespers (booklet form–revised!)
• Text for Sunday Typika (Obednitsa or Lay Liturgy without Communion)
• Variable texts for each Saturday night & Sunday to pair with the first two services
Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas 2020 (page with sermon & more for March 15)
Sunday of the Cross
Sunday of St. John of the Ladder