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Russian Orthodox Church in UAE resumes d…

Russian Orthodox Church in UAE resumes divine services after six-month quarantine

On September 13, 2020, the 14th Sunday after Pentecost and the commemoration day of the Saints Peter and Fevronia, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the church of St. Philip in Ash Shāriqah (United Arab Emirates).

As far back as in March, it was decided to suspend divine services in the church as was instructed by the authorities due to the treat of the spreading coronavirus infection. The first liturgy after the six-month quarantine was celebrated with the participation of parishioners by the rector of the church, Archimandrite Alexander (Zerkeshev).

Hymns were sung by the parish choir conducted by precentor Marina Nagornaya. During the Prayer of Fervent Supplication, petitions were voiced for the cessation of the harmful infection and the heeling of the ill. Then the rector lifted up a prayer for peace in Ukraine. During the Prayer for the Dead, a special commemoration was devoted to Metropolitan Isidor (Kirichenko) who died of complications caused by the coronavirus infection.

The prayer after the communion was followed by the singing of the troparion, kondak and praise to Saints Peter and Fevronia.

Before the communion, Archimandrite Alexander took parishioners’ confessions.
In the end of the liturgy, he delivered a sermon on the Sunday Gospel reading and congratulated the congregation on the first divine service after a half-year quarantine.
Among the official conditions for church celebrations is the installment of a disinfection gate in front of the church, obligatory temperature measurement at the entrance, observation of social distance and face mask regime. In addition, as there are still restrictions, children and the elderly cannot be present at the liturgy; individual confessions are replaced by a common confession; the priest himself comes up with the Cup to people standing in the church; and parishioners are not to hold meetings before and after the service.

At present, the church is open from 09:30 to 14:00 on Saturdays and from 09:30 to 13:00 on Sundays. The liturgy is celebrated only on Sundays.

By the time of the first services after the long interruption, the church of St. Philip has been transformed: a set of works has been carried out to reinforce and to damp-proof the roof, to paint it and the cupolas of the church and the cultural center. At present, it is planned to waterproof the main cupola, to plaster and paint the interiors, etc., the parish website reports.

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