Interior Ministry and Council of Churches agree on format of Easter events
The Interior Ministry and the Council of Churches agreed on the format of the Easter celebrations during a quarantine period.
On April 8, 2020, an online meeting of representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations took place, during which the format of the Easter holidays during the quarantine period due to the coronavirus was agreed, said the Advisor to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Yuri Tandit, as reported by the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
“After a lively discussion, we came to such an agreement: services in temples will be held, however, without believers – for them. Online broadcast will be available. A limited number of people may be present in places of worship, namely: a priest, an acolyte, a deacon, and persons who technically attend to the service and provide online broadcasting. It is mandatory that all those present, except the clergymen, wear protective masks or respirators,” said Yuri Tandit.
Parishioners, he said, are allowed to attend a temple individually when worship is not performed. “But in this case, the number of people who are together at the same time must not exceed two in large temples and one in smaller temples, not counting, not counting the clergy. All those present are required to wear face masks, and there must be no queues from the outside,” he said.
According to the Advisor to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, there will be several possibilities for consecrating Easter cakes and baskets. In cities, priests will be invited to bakeries, factories, or shops where they will consecrate Easter cakes, and everyone can buy them already consecrated. In rural areas, believers can put Easter baskets outside the gates for the priest to walk through the streets and consecrate them. “Thus, it will be possible to minimize the number of contacts between people,” said Tandit.
The Adviser to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs said that in case of believers' attempts to go to church, police patrols "will tolerantly and carefully explain the need to follow these rules". “With the support of the clergy, whom we ask to explain to their parishioners the importance and necessity of observing the approved algorithm, we are confident that there will be much fewer cases of disobedience to the requirements of the order,” he said.
It was also agreed that representatives of all religious organizations will submit lists of people who are involved in conducting services for their free movement.
Regarding the volunteer activities of the Churches, special attention was paid to the issue of care for homeless people. It was agreed that the leaders of religious institutions will submit to the Ministry of Internal Affairs lists of those responsible and locations for relevant events.
“The emergency situation in which our state will celebrate Easter holidays this year urges us all to unity and love for one another. Let these difficult times be an inspiration for each of us to be open to the needs of the weak and make us rethink our values,” summed up Yuri Tandit.
As reported earlier, the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations suggested the authorities ways to protect the rights of believers in a quarantine period.