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The crest of the Eparchy of New Westminster

Chancery Office, Eparchy of New Westminster
1 April 2020

My Dear Parishioners,

I pray that you and your families are safe and healthy. As we endure the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are evermore united as one global family—God’s family—in our efforts to battle this disease, protecting in particular our seniors and those with medical conditions. In Christ, all things are possible. We will overcome.

Over these past several weeks, I have been moved by the love and pastoral care expressed towards you by our clergy. To them, I express my heartfelt gratitude. They are praying for you daily, celebrating the Lenten liturgical services and the Divine Liturgy for your intentions, visiting the sick and dying, celebrating funerals, hearing confessions upon request, phoning and keeping in touch with you - in particular, the elderly and shut-ins - providing counselling, and so on. They have also been sending you their weekly bulletins and homily reflections, with the Sunday epistle and gospel, and changeable parts, so that you pray and reflect upon the word of God at home, alone or with your family. Although our buildings are closed, the Church continues to be open—because we are the Church!

Holy Week and Easter Services
As we prepare to mark Holy Week, Our Lord’s passion, crucifixion, death upon the cross, and then Easter and his glorious third-day Resurrection, our celebrations will be very different this year owing to the coronavirus. We simply continue doing what we’re already doing, that is, stay home to prevent the spread of the virus, and to follow the Holy Week and Easter services from home through livestream.

[Live-streaming of Father Yuriy’s Easter Sunday liturgy will begin at 8AM on Sunday 12 April, and will be available via this Journal web page.]

When following the livestream liturgical services, it is important to stay prayerful and focused, avoiding all distractions. Set up a prayer corner in your ‘domestic church.’ Place yourself in front of an icon. Light a candle. On the appropriate day, download a copy an icon of the Holy (Last) Supper, the Holy Shroud of Our Lord (plaschanytsia), and the Resurrection of Our Lord. Meditate upon them.

Be assured that all our pastors will celebrate the Holy Week and Easter services for your intention, either in church by themselves or with the assistance of a cantor, or privately in their home.

Palm Sunday and Pussy willows
Blessed pussy willows will not be distributed on Flowery (Palm) Sunday. Some parishes who have already pre-ordered pussy willows, may bless and distribute them once the pandemic has passed.

Easter Basket-blessings
Easter baskets will be blessed via livestream, following the celebration of Resurrection Matins and Divine Liturgy. Alternatively, in these extraordinary circumstances, the faithful may recite the prayers of Easter-basket blessing yourself, sprinkling them with Holy Water, where available.

Easter Confessions and Spiritual Communion
As it is not possible to celebrate our ‘Easter’ confession at this time, nor receive the Divine Eucharist on the Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord, pray by yourself or as a family the ‘Prayer of Spiritual Communion’:

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in these Holy Gifts!
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now,
I place before You my whole life and hope, O loving Master;
and I ask, pray, and entreat You: Make me worthy to partake in a mystical way
and with a pure conscience of Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries:
for forgiveness of sins, for the pardon of offences, for communion of the Holy Spirit,
for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence before You,

and not for judgment or condemnation.
I embrace You as You enter and abide in me, and I unite myself completely to You.

Permeate my soul and body, and never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

Financial Support
At this critical time, your financial support is greatly appreciated. Our eparchy and parishes continue to incur expenses as we strive to fulfil the mission which God has entrusted to the Church. Please contact your local parish as to how you can make a donation.

Continued Prayer for you and your family
Please know that your bishop and your clergy are praying for you, for family and friends; for the shut-ins and elderly; for the sick and the dying; for government leaders and officials; and for the doctors, nurses, researchers, for all care givers, and for all who provide essential services.

As we celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord, I pray that God’s grace and love fills your heart, and that of your family and friends, and brings joy and peace to all people.

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

Sincerely in Christ,

Bishop David Motiuk
Eparchial Bishop, Eparchy of Edmonton
Apostolic Administrator, Eparchy of New Westminster

The crest of the Eparchy of New Westminster

Chancery Office, Eparchy of New Westminster
18 March 2020

To the Reverend Clergy:

CIX!

As you may already know, the Government of British Columbia has now declared a state of emergency under the Public Health Act.

New public health measures are now recommended to limit the time people spend in large crowds and crowded spaces. Effective immediately, all events over 50 people are to be cancelled.

In this light, I have issued the following liturgical norms, effective immediately, which include the suspension of all Divine Liturgies throughout the Eparchy of New Westminster.

We carry all our faithful in our prayers.

God bless,

Bishop David

✙   ✙   ✙

To the Faithful:

We are living in extraordinary times. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now a global pandemic. It has affected every aspect of our daily lives.

The Government of British Columbia has now declared a state of emergency under the Public Health Act. New public health measures are now recommended to limit the time people spend in large crowds and crowded spaces. All events over 50 people are to be cancelled.

Our primary concern must always be to care for the spiritual, physical, mental, and wellbeing of our fellow parishioners and citizens, many of whom are seniors and those at greater risk.

Therefore, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the following liturgical norms are to be followed:

  • All Divine Liturgies are suspended until further notice.
  • Faithful are encouraged to follow the celebration of the Divine Liturgy on weekends via livestream or recording on the Internet. On Sundays, Holy Eucharist Cathedral (New Westminster), and St Nicholas the Wonderworker parish (Victoria) will livestream liturgical services. Please note, these are closed to the public.
  • All Lenten liturgical services and Lenten Missions are cancelled. The faithful are directed to the Eparchy of New Westminster website where they will find videos and materials to help grow spiritually in their Lenten journey.
  • All penitential liturgical services are cancelled. Priests are available to hear individual confessions upon request or during posted hours. Confessions will take place in an open space (for example, before the Icon of Christ at the Iconostasis), and not in the confessional. Consult local parishes for hours.
  • Funerals may continue to be celebrated in our churches and in funeral homes. In consultation with the relatives of the deceased, the number of attendees should be limited to 50 people.
  • Some families may choose immediate interment, followed by a memorial funeral service at a later date. Public receptions following the funeral are not to take place.
  • Children preparing for Solemn Communion and First Reconciliation are to receive instruction by parents in their own homes. Catechists can assist parents with the preparation of lessons and materials.
  • Upon request, priests are available to visit the sick and shut-ins who request the Divine Eucharist, Confession or the Sacrament of the Sick. In every case, they are expected to practice appropriate risk mitigation.
  • Churches are to remain open, where possible, for some time to allow for private prayer. Consult local parishes for hours.
  • Further liturgical norms on Holy Week are forthcoming.
  • Pray. Pray. Pray.

As the situation is fluid, for up to date information on the Coronavirus, visit reliable sources, for example, Government of British Columbia Health Services and Public Health Agency of Canada.

As things evolve, we will provide further liturgical norms as deemed necessary. Let us do what we do best as the people of God, let us pray:

Prayer During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Jesus Christ, you travelled through towns and villages ‘curing every disease and illness.’ At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.

Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care.

Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbours from helping one another.

Heal us from our pride, which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.

Stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow. Be with those who have died from the virus. May they be at rest with you in your eternal peace. Be with the families of those who are sick or have died. As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair. May they know your peace. Be with the doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process. May they know your protection and peace. Be with our priests and spiritual care givers. May they know that they are loved and cared for.

Be with the leaders of all nations. Give them the foresight to act with charity and true concern for the well-being of the people they are meant to serve. Give them the wisdom to invest in long-term solutions that will help prepare for or prevent future outbreaks. May they know your peace, as they work together to achieve it on earth.

Whether we are home or abroad, surrounded by many people suffering from this illness or only a few, Jesus Christ, stay with us as we endure and mourn, persist and prepare. In place of our anxiety, give us your peace.

For You are a God of mercy, kindness, and love, and we glorify You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Bishop David Motiuk
Apostolic Administrator

Updated 18 March 2020

Following directives of our Apostolic Administrator Bishop David in response to the declaration of a state of emergency by the Government of British Columbia, celebration of Divine Liturgy at St Michael the Archangel Ukrainian-Catholic parish are suspended until further notice.

While this global emergency continues and public celebrations of Divine Liturgy are cancelled, the operating expenses of our parish must continue to be paid. During this time, please consider making online donations through CanadaHelps to help us cover expenses and keep the parish alive. Thank you.

Donate via CanadaHelps