UOC cleric: Thoughts of online liturgy – manifestation of renovation spirit

Archbishop Theodosius (Snigirev) of Boyarka. Photo: a video screenshot from the YouTube channel “Stained Glass: On Faith in Colours”

The UOC bishop commented on the situation with services in quarantine and the idea of "online communion" in the OCU and explained what could be done in such a situation.

Those who carefully read the Holy Scriptures and Revelations of John the Theologian have no doubt that the Church will be tried to destroy, but even in such circumstances, thoughts about “online services” are a manifestation of renovation and the lack of reverence for the sacred, emphasized Theodosius (Snigirev) of Boyarka.

“We do not know how it will be, so we must be ready. And in the process of this preparation, reflection on the online liturgy – a renovated, reformatory reflection that has neither a practical necessity nor any canonical and liturgical grounds – can be left for those who simply want to exercise their mind in the quarantine, to engage in liturgical theological research,” he said on the air of the YouTube channel "Stained Glass: On Faith in Colours".

The bishop drew attention to the fact that the idea of "online liturgy" and "online communion" was born outside the church environment. 

“Why do such a question and such ideas arise not in the Church, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, for example, but in a parallel structure, denomination, the OCU? After all, quite recently its representatives have stated that during the quarantine, when, in principle, the laity could have come to receive communion after the service all day long, they had no one,” said Archbishop Theodosius. “Some of them said on the Internet: we didn’t have a single communicant during this time.”

The hierarch of the UOC also added that in the canonical Church, unlike the OCU, people grieve and suffer that they cannot receive communion as often as they used to, they go to churches and, after the divine services and taking turns by appointment proceed to the Sacraments of Confession and Communion.

“And with such a love of communion, with such a frequency of communion in our Church, the question does not arise: is it possible to serve the Liturgy online? But our opponents have such a question. “I think the reason is the level of reverence for the sacred,” he added. “Imagine the reverence for the sanctity of the Body and the Blood of Christ in our temples, in our parishes! Despite frequent communion, reverence is not lost. No one even thinks that this communion can be done in a different way, can be transferred to homes, can be done via the Internet. Such a thought does not occur as a result of the deep internal reverence of the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”

Archbishop Theodosius believes that under conditions of possible future persecutions, epidemics, wars or cataclysms, the Internet and other forms of remote communication between people will be the first to be destroyed. And now "online communion" is just not needed.

“And this reflection on the online ‘liturgy’ is a manifestation of non-reverence and a renovated spirit. And there are no problems, at least in our country, to receive communion for any believer at any time convenient for him, when the soul wishes, and he/she is prepared – there are no problems at all. And if they arise, the Church will solve them but not in the way the new renovationists and church reformers want,” the UOC hierarch stressed.

He explained that believers should be prepared for a difficult time.

“We must be prepared for a difficult time. This does not mean that it will come. But that means we must be prepared. After all, some six months ago, none of us could even imagine that the churches would be rebuilt, restored, there would be a service inside — and there would be no people because of the quarantine and strict requirements," said the bishop.

Archbishop Theodosius urged the flock to hope that such a thing would never happen again and to use this time of forced solitude to work hard on oneself, to fight against oneself and pray God for help “so that we could go through this time and it, at least in our life, will never happen again.”

Ранее стало известно, что клирик ПЦУ проводит Причастие через видеоконференцию.

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