No exceptional permission

No exceptional permission

Inside a Serbian Orthodox Church © Tijana photography (shutterstock)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic maintains ban on Orthodox Easter services because of Corona pandemic. According to the Orthodox calendar, Easter is celebrated this weekend.

In a telephone conversation with Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Irinej I. he rejected an exemption Wednesday, according to the president's office. Due to the current epidemiological situation in Serbia, the exit restrictions cannot be lifted, Vucic said.

The governing body of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Holy Synod, had called Monday for permission for Sunday morning Easter Masses from five a.m. to 10 a.m. Vucic expressed understanding for the Church's desire to celebrate the biggest Christian holiday. However, the fight against the coronavirus must be continued as before. He said he was convinced that the Church would continue to be involved in the fight against the coronavirus. In Serbia, 99 Corona patients have died so far, according to government figures.

Easter according to the Orthodox calendar this year on 19. April

At its meeting, the Holy Synod stated that the Serbian Orthodox Church could not completely stop the celebration of the liturgy, because this is the basis of faith in God. Depending on local circumstances, the liturgical celebration must involve at least one priest, one deacon, one cantor and one altar server, he said.

According to the Orthodox calendar, Easter will be celebrated this year on 19. April and thus one week later than celebrated by Catholics and Protestants. The Eastern Churches determine both dates according to the old Julian calendar and according to a different method than the Western Churches, which adopted the Gregorian calendar reform of 16. The research has been completed by the end of the twentieth century.

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