His Holiness Kyrill, Patriarch of Moscow & All Russia, approved the text of prayerful petitions to be read in connection with the threat the spread of the Coronavirus infection.
With the blessing of His Holiness, the petitions will be offered up at Divine Liturgy in all churches of the Russian Orthodox Church. On March 22, the 3rd Sunday of Great Lent, dedicated to the veneration of the Cross, the approved prayers were read for the first time at the Patriarchal service.
Earlier, at its March 11 session, the Holy Synod adopted a statement in connection with the spread of Coronavirus.
"In times of epidemics, the Russian Orthodox Church always carried out Her witness ministry, without refusing anyone spiritual nourishment and full participation in Her Sacraments," the statement reads in part. "We encourage people to exercise restraint, keep a clear head, and maintain prayerful calm. We call attention to the fact that a believer should not succumb to panic and fears associated with the spread of unverified information regarding the infection. At the same time, it is unacceptable to take the coronavirus infection lightly, neglect medical prescriptions, ignore preventive measures, or risk the infection of oneself and others."
The Holy Synod called on the archpastors, pastors, monastics, and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church " to intensify their prayers for overcoming the disease and for the bestowal of strength on the doctors who are fighting it."