THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE
HOLY METROPOLIS OF PISIDA
EXARCHATE OF SIDE AND ANTALYA
When the holy churches – in which services have been suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic – will be reopened, the following instructions that have been drawn up in accordance with the special provisions of the State Health Services Organisation must be followed.
The superior of each church shall appoint an appropriate person to be responsible for protection against infection. This person shall ensure that thenecessary measures provided here will be complied with.
CHAPTER ONE: OBSERVATION OF THE FAITHFUL – THE FUNCTIONING OF THE HOLY CHURCHES
A) It is not allowed for faithful to enter the church who:
- Are showing symptoms of Covid-19 like: fever, cough, breathing difficulties, diarrhea, exhaustion, even though they have not been directly diagnosed as patients.
- Have returned from abroad two weeks ago or sooner.
- Are elderly (above 65 years of age), pregnant women, suffering from serious illnesses and those whose lives may be at risk due to infection of Covid-19.
- Sick children.
- Unknown persons (e.g. the non-Orthodox).
The faithful who cannot attend church temporarily are urged:
a) to attend the Divine Liturgies and Services through the internet on the Instagram page of the Holy Church of St. Alypios the Stylite in Antalya: Antalya.Orthodox in accordance with the monthly schedule of Divine Services and b) to partake of Holy Communion after consultation with the priests, so that fewer people attend the church, or to invite the priest to their place of residence (home, nursing home, hospital etc.)
B) When faithful enter the church:
1. The person responsible for protection against infection ought to:
a) Record the names and phone numbers of the faithful, so that in the case of an emergency, measures will be taken to protect them.
b) Examine the temperature of the faithful and if they show symptoms of Covid-19.
c) Disinfect the hands of the faithful with antiseptics and to supervise that there are enough antiseptics at the entrance of the church.
d) Hand over masks to those faithful who are not wearing one from the depository of the church (Without a mask entrance into the church is not allowed).
e) He reminds the faithful to keep a distance of at least two meters from each other. Family members may stand close to each other but have to keep distance from the other faithful.
C) During the Divine Liturgy:
a) Faithful wear masks. The masks may only be removed when partaking of the Eucharist. The priests ought to wear a mask when delivering the Eucharist to the faithful.
b) When faithful come to receive the Eucharist they ought to form queue with at least two meters of space between each other.
c) The faithful ought not to shake hands with each other, kiss neither the icons nor the hand of the priest, but to show their respect with a deep bow. During the “kiss of peace” among the clergy they ought not to kiss each other.
d) If someone happens to cough or sneeze, even while wearing a mask, they ought to cover their face with the sleeve of their hands.
e) As long as the weather conditions are favorable, all the doors and windows of the church will remain open.
D) After the dismissal of the Divine Liturgy:
a) The priest, while wearing a mask, will hand out the “antidoro” to the open palm of every faithful in such a way that hands do not touch and the faithful ought not to kiss the hand of the priest. The faithful who are receiving the antidoro ought to keep a distance of two meters between them, both during this time and the departure from the church.
b) all usual gatherings of the faithful (such as religious studies, catechisms, gatherings of youth and children etc.) do not take place in facilities, but are attended to through the internet.
c) The common traditional agape meal or coffee hour does not take place in the parish hall in order to avoid crowding.
E) The conduction of other Holy Mysteries:
a) The Holy Mysteries of Baptism and Marriage are perfomed in the church only with the participation of the members of a given family, without guests and observing all that is instructed by chapter C.
b) Holy Confession takes place in an open space of the church. Both the priest and the one confessing ought to wear masks and face the Holy Altar.
c) During the conduction of the Mystery of Holy Unction all ought to wear masks and keep the distance of two meters.
d) The rite of burial will preferably be served at the cemetery with the participation of only the family and in full compliance with the measures of chapter C.
CHAPTER TWO: DISINFECTION OF AREAS
A) Disinfection of the church.
Before every act of worship, the Church ought to be disinfected in all those places and areas that the faithful will approach, and in particular the seats and entrance doors.
a) Disinfection is done according to the given surface with either chlorine solution (LAX) or alcohol.
b) After disinfection, good ventilation is necessary, as chlorine may damage skin tissue, cause eczema, headache and unpleasant smell.
c) When the procedures of disinfection and ventilation are completed, the dean of the church prepares a certificate in which he writes the name of the church as well as the date of its disinfection and ventilation. After signing it, he keeps the certificate in order to be able to show it to the state authorities whenever requested.
B) Disinfection of other ecclesiastical areas Depending on the use of other ecclesiastical areas of the church (the offices, halls, W.C. etc.) they ought to be disinfected as well.
a) In particular, handles, railings, switches and other surfaces that are frequently touched must be disinfected.
b) Particular care is required when disinfecting frequently and thoroughly sanitary facilities: toilet door handles, basins and toilet seat covers, floors, taps, sinks, etc.
c) The waste containers must be emptied frequently and disinfected.
(1) The person to whom is appointed the responsibility for disinfection ought to supervise:
a) That disinfectors are to be found at every church entrance and other places.
b) That masks are provided to those who have none before entering the church or other closed spaces.
c) That there is always enough soap and toilet paper in the bathrooms.
d) To train the personnel who are responsible for disinfection of areas and to supervise their work.
e) To provide the personnel with masks (e.g. of type ΚF94) and the necessary materials for personnel protection, disinfection, cleaning etc.
f) That for special events general disinfection of the Church from the Municipality Services is requested.
(2) If a Covid-19 infection of a member of the church is detected, he or she should return home immediately, monitor his or her fever twice a day, contact the Health Department, and follow the instructions provided by them. The one appointed responsibility for disinfection should record the event and report it to the competent Service.
(3) In closed public spaces (offices, halls etc.) everyone is required to wear a mask. It is not allowed to enter a closed public space without wearing a mask.
(From the Holy Metropolis of Pisidia)