St George Antiochian Orthodox Church
Lowell, Massachusetts

Blessed Lent!

Due to coronavirus pandemic, all services will be served with only clergy, servers, and chanters.

The latest directives and resources related to COVID-19

Met. Joseph's Letter on 3/17/2020

Met. Joseph's Pastoral Letter Re.-Covid-19 on 3/24/2020

Met. Joseph's Guidance to Clergy Re.Covid-19 on 3/6/2020

Liturgical Resources

A PERSONAL NOTE FROM FR. LEONARD
 
Dear Beloved in Christ,
 
     The coronavirus pandemic is confusing and frightening.  Most of us feel perplexed and frustrated in this hopeless situation.  As Orthodox Christians, we respond to this crisis seriously and deliberately while maintaining an inner sense of calm and hope. "Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all." ( GK Chesterton)
 
Fear mongers lead us to panic, and panic pulls us away from God, The Source of our Spiritual courage and consolation.  In these times of uncertainty I invite you to read and reflect on the words of St. Paul: "Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us"(Romans 5.3-5)
 
Many of our services and programs are cancelled but LOVE IS NOT CANCELLED.  Know that I am praying for all of you and I am always available to chat with you and pray with and for you.  We will abide by the directives of our Archdiocese and continue to celebrate The Madayeh Service on Friday evening and the Divine Liturgy on Sunday mornings, however, we are only allowed to have no more than 10 people present at these services.
 
Please remember your financial commitment to the church during these trying times as we still need to cover our expenses.  You can mail your stewardship to the rectory or give on line whichever you prefer.
 
May God through the Intercession of His Most Blessed Mother bless you, watch over you and keep you safe!
 
With Love in Christ,
 
  +Fr. Leonard

CHAIRMAN'S LETTER TO THE PARISH

March 20, 2020

Beloved Parishioners,

Greetings in the Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ!

The parish council convened for a special meeting last night, Thursday March 19, 2020, to address Met. Joseph's letter on March 17, 2020 (attached with this letter), and to discuss the national and state of emergencies due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Met. Joseph stated in his letter that:
1. Beginning today, all parishes are instructed to cancel all non-liturgical, in-person activities including schools, business meetings, and social functions.
2. All liturgical services will be served with only clergy, servers, and chanters. No liturgical service can total more than ten persons.
4. Priests are instructed to limit services to only the Akathist/Medayeh and Sunday Orthros & Divine Liturgy as well as the liturgy for the Annunciation on March 25th as outlined by the Department of Liturgics.
These instructions leave us with Fr. Leonard, two alter boys, one server at the Marida, and six chanters during the allowed services.
Therefore, if you wish to serve as an alter boy, please contact Fr. Leonard at (978) 204-9311, and if you wish to serve at the Marida, please contact me at (978) 866-0288. The choir will rotate their own members. The doors will be locked during services. If you wish to receive communion, please contact Fr. Leonard.

Met. Joseph also stated that:
3. Churches should remain open during the week as much as possible for people to offer individual prayers and light candles.
Fr. Leonard is available to open the church to any parishioner wishing to come for confession or to pray and light candles.

We are gladly proceeding to work on Met. Joseph’s encouragement to take advantage of the technology at our disposal to live stream the divine services and offer education to the faithful:
5. All parishes are encouraged to take advantage of the technology at our disposal to livestream the divine services and offer education to the faithful.

The church as whole is going through a trial time but be assured that at the end it will be triumphant by fasting and prayers, by the power of the Cross, and by the Body and Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Remember that we are all here to help and serve each other. You will be kept informed once we have updates during this fluid situation and uncharted territory.

God bless you all and keep you safe!

In Christ,

Joseph Awad
Parish Council Chairman

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