Categories: Parish News

Latest Directives Regarding COVID-19

Attention:

If there is anyone who needs to be visited with Holy Communion, Holy Unction, or to have someone purchase groceries or go to the pharmacy, or for any reason, please do not hesitate to contact Fr. Vasileios at 512-574-1972

Update April 7, 2020

Beloved in the Lord,
PLEASE read and review the following letter from His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah with very clear and direct mandates of love and caution, during this Holy period of Great Lent and Holy Week.
Like His Eminence, I find these mandates extremely difficult to implement and am saddened that we cannot worship together, physically; however, love calls us to save lives and not to lose them or endanger them in any way.
They also follow the same directives from the Bishops Assembly which represents all Orthodox jurisdictions and bishops within the United States.
These new directives are stricter and must be enforced. Doors to the Church will have to be locked to enforce these rules; but LIVE STREAMING WILL ALWAYS BE ON for you to continue making your home a “house church.” Please do this and pray with us.
We are in this together.

Update March 17, 2020

What a Lenten Season we have been given this year! Perhaps it is not the Lent that we envisioned or hoped for, but it is the one we have been given…I am confident that through all of the trials and tribulations of this present pandemic, the Church, our parishes,…will come out on the other side stronger and more dedicated to the Lord. (His Eminence Metropolitan ISAIAH of Denver)

Dearest Faithful in Christ,

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38) We, the very Body of Christ, live and proclaim this love at all times, especially in these unprecedented times, and especially during this time of Holy and Great Lent, where we prepare ourselves to follow the Lord, even to His Cross. May we know and live with Him in His holy resurrection, now.  Behold, now is that time. Now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2) Although we the faithful of Transfiguration may be separated physically; through our faith and prayer, we are united even more so, spiritually, within this trying time.

The news about the evolution of the coronavirus (COVID-19) changes hourly, and I want to assure you that the health and safety, love and salvation, of our community remains our first priority. The Holy Orthodox Church, working together with our public officials, the medical professionals, and the world community at large, is doing everything She can to ensure the salvation of God’s people in body, as well as in soul. 

“By order of the Travis County Judge, public or private gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited until May 1, 2020, with these orders subject to change based on the spread of the virus.” Do these Orders prevent gatherings for church attendance at Transfiguration? Unfortunately, at this time, “Yes.” “If your place of faith holds more than 10 people at the same time in a single room or other single confined or enclosed space, the gathering is prohibited at this time.”

With this current situation in mind, His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah has sent wise directives to the clergy of this holy metropolis to make adjustments to our parish life, which are not ideal, but prudent and necessary. We are indeed living in unprecedented times, which require of us new and brave solutions, kat oikonomia. 

Until further notice, Transfiguration will celebrate all Lenten services on location with clergy, altar servers, chanters and laity not to exceed 10 in number. The faithful are all asked to worship together from the safety of their homes via streaming services found on our website:  https://transfiguration.org.  These  are certainly not ideal solutions, but given the circumstances in which we find ourselves, they are the most loving action we can follow; and as His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America has related to us: “the Holy Archdiocese extends this blessing, as such a decision is not a sin, but an act of love and responsibility for the protection of one’s self and their fellow human beings. We encourage the faithful to participate in the experience of sacred worship at home, on TV, or using multimedia platforms.”

At this time, these services include the following:  

* Sunday Morning:  Orthros and Divine Liturgy with Orthros beginning, 8:15 am and Divine Liturgy 9:30 am.

* Monday Evening:  Great Compline, 5:30 pm

* Wednesday Evening:  The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, 5:30 pm

* Friday Morning:  The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, 10:00 am

* Friday Evening:  The Salutations of the Akathist, 5:30 pm

Again, due to the prudent constraints directed by the Travis County Judge, all services are limited to 10 with clergy, chanters, and altar servers necessarily given the precedence to attend. Please be advised, that these service schedules may change, according to the calling of the current situation.

Any of the faithful who would like to receive the Gifts of Holy Communion at home or in the church, will receive that opportunity by contacting Fr. Vasileios directly at 512-574-1972, so that appropriate arrangements can be made. 

Other directives from His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah include:

*Confessions and home visitations are to be done taking precautions to avoid transmission of the virus.

*Funeral services are to be chanted with immediate family members of the deceased only in attendance.

*All non-liturgical gatherings of parishes, including but not limited to Coffee Hour, Luncheons, Sunday School, TYKES, HOPE-JOY, GOYA, Greek Folk Dance, Orthodoxy 101, Potluck Patristics, Philoptochos, Parish Council Meetings, General Parish Assemblies, and the like, are to be postponed or cancelled.

As your parish priest, I am fully aware that not everyone will agree with these measures and they are indeed personally sorrowful for me to implement, for I treasure when we worship and fellowship together as one Body within the Sanctuary itself. However, let us utilize this unique time to increase our personal prayer life at home, come closer to our dear family and friends who are near to us, and lovingly check in with our fellow parishioners, neighbors, and those in need. Many of us will be affected in tremendous ways—emotionally, economically, physically, and spiritually.  If there is anyone in need, please do not hesitate to contact me or one of our fellow clergy.

May our Compassionate and All-Merciful Lord, through the intercessions of our Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, and all the Saints, deliver us quickly. And may His Wisdom, Power and Healing, be with everyone in need, through His Holy Spirit.

Your Servant,
Fr. Vasileios Flegas

Prayer Service to God During this Time of Trouble

Beloved Faithful of Transfiguration,

Christ, Who is the source of our Life, our Hope and our Consolation, has never abandoned His Church. Persecutions, theological upheavals, wars, and times of illnesses or diseases have never separated us from Him. The Church will always be a beacon of every good gift unto humanity and all creation. Christ is and will ever remain the good Physician of our souls and bodies.

The appearance of the COVID-19 virus on the world stage has presented a great challenge for our civil authorities and medical experts. We are responding appropriately to the ever-changing information about this virus and efforts to contain its spread in order to save lives. We are constantly reviewing the guidelines promulgated by local health departments. Most importantly, we are praying.

Let us continue to be the Body of Christ in such a manner that we continue to pray and intercede for the miraculous Presence of our Lord to effect His healing and mercy within the world. Let us continue to be a Church and a people of solace, safety, and healing by following the guidelines and protocols of our spiritual leaders, civil leaders, and experts in the field of science and medicine. Let our compassion be like that of the Good Samaritan who noticed the person in need by bringing groceries and medicines to the elderly and home bound, or by staying at home so as not to unnecessarily endanger others by becoming a vector of the virus. While public concerns continue to grow, I remind you that we are all children of God, and it is in God that our hope is grounded. Our Lord Jesus Christ not only works in ways that are beyond reason, He also works through each of us. We are each other’s keepers; this is an opportunity to exhibit the best of who we are through our love and care of each other. Let us pray:

O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in Your ineffable goodness, look down upon Your people gathered in Your Holy Name. Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction. You know our weakness. You hear our cry in repentance and contrition of heart. O Lord who loves mankind deliver us from the impending threat of the corona virus. Send Your Angel to watch over us and protect us. Grant health and recovery to those suffering from this virus. Guide the hands of all medical personnel, and preserve those who are healthy that we may continue to serve You in peace and glorify Your most honorable and majestic Name, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

In Christ’s Love,

Fr. Vasileios
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