His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia approved texts of prayerful supplications in view of the threat of the spreading coronavirus infection.
With the blessing of His Holiness, the prayers will be lifted up during the Divine Liturgy at all churches of the Russian Orthodox Church. Tomorrow, on March 22, Third Sunday of Lent, these supplications will be read out for the first time during the Patriarchal divine service.
Earlier, at its session on March 11, the Holy Synod adopted the Statement Concerning the Spread of Coronavirus Infection.
“In times of epidemics the Russian Orthodox Church always bore its ministry of witness, never refusing spiritual care and full participation in her Sacraments to anybody,” the Statement reads, “We call for restraint, sober-mindedness and prayerful tranquility, and note that a believer should not get into a panic or be gripped by fears caused by the spread of unchecked information about the infection. At the same time, it is inadmissible to take the coronavirus lightly, neglect medical advice and ignore preventive measures, thus putting at risk of infection oneself and those around.”
The Holy Synod called upon the hierarchs, pastors, monastics and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church to lift up “fervent prayer for overcoming the disease and granting strength to the doctors combating it.”
On March 17, the Holy Synod approved the instructions to rectors of parishes and metochions, abbots and abbesses of the monasteries of the Russian Orthodox Church in view of the risk of the spreading coronavirus infection.
Supplications to be read out during the Litany of Fervent Supplication at the Divine Liturgy in a time of the spread of the harmful epidemic
Again we pray unto Thee, O Lord our God, for the mercy and salvation from the disastrous epidemic coming onto us, for the deliverance of Thy faithful people from spiritual and bodily death, for the healing and health of the diseased and for Thy divine protection and help, we pray unto Thee, O merciful Lord, hearken soon and have mercy.
Again we pray for the pacification of confusion and every fear among people, for the protection of Thy faithful by firm faith, for filling our hearts with peace and quietness, we pray unto Thee, O Lord, hearken and have mercy.
Prayer to be read in a time of the spread of the harmful epidemic
O Lord our God, enter not into judgment with Thy servants and save us from the disastrous epidemic coming onto us. Have mercy on us, Thy lowly and unworthy servants who in repentance, with fervent faith and broken heart, prostrate ourselves before Thee, O God, merciful and ordaining every good change, and trust in Thy mercy.
For Thy property it is to show mercy and to save us, O our God, and unto Thee do we send up glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen