Coronavirus in Romania: Orthodox Church to deliver Holy Fire at home, upon request
The Palm Sunday and Easter services will take place this year without any believers attending because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions imposed by the authorities on public gatherings, the Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) announced.
For the Easter Vigil, believers can hold lit candles while standing on their balconies or in the courtyards of their homes and uttering the Pascal greeting "Christ is risen!," BOR announced.
At the same time, confessions and the Eucharist service will be offered only at home, to those who request it from their priest.
Likewise, the Holy Fire will be brought to people by special delegations of the Church and only to those who request it. The believers will have to wait for it in front of their homes.
Upon entering people’s homes, the priests will use protective footwear and medical masks, will wash their hands, and disinfect any items used, BOR said.
The blessed bread, sprinkled with wine and holy water - called Paşti in Romanian – will be offered in closed, hygienically-packed parcels. On Friday and Saturday, the Paşti will be distributed for free, in specially set-up places, outside of churches, by people wearing medical masks and gloves. People who want to receive the Paşti need to follow the same rules that apply in stores, namely to wear a mask and keep a distance of 2 meters from one another. Volunteers will bring the Paşti to those who are too old or too ill to leave their homes. They will also wear protective masks and gloves, as well as name tags, signed and stamped by each congregation.