12 March 2020, 11:57
Russian Orthodox Church Synod recommends communicants to use plastic cups
Moscow, March 12, Interfax - The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church urges to strictly observe measures on preventing coronavirus.
"The Holy Synod considers important consistent and scrupulous observance of sanitary and hygiene measures of preventive character in parishes and monasteries, especially in the regions with officially hard epidemiological situation, including extensive use of sanitary liquids for disinfecting icon frames, kissed by the believers, and dispense plastic cups for drinking after Communion," the Synod said in the statement issued after its session in Moscow.
Until now after Communion parishioners were given special mixture of wine and water in several cups which they shared with other communicants. Under threat of coronavirus it is recommended to use individual cups. Nevertheless, the Communion will be given to believers from one spoon, the Moscow Patriarchate official explained to Interfax.
If coronavirus spreads in a certain region, additional preventive measures can be taken, the statement reads.
"It is unacceptable to be irresponsible with coronavirus infection, to ignore medical instructions and preventive measures, exposing yourself and your relatives to the danger of infecting," church officials said.
The Synod expressed condolences to relatives of coronavirus victims in China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, France, Germany, Spain and other countries and called work of doctors and volunteers "blessed before the Lord" as they help the sick and try to stop spreading pandemic.
Meanwhile, leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church urges to "be restraint, to preserve sobriety and stay prayerfully calm" as a believer should not be subjected to panic and fears connected with unchecked information about spreading of the infection.