Home page News
Instructions to rectors of parishes and …

Instructions to rectors of parishes and monasteries’ town churches, abbots and abbesses of the monasteries of the Russian Orthodox Church over the threat of spreading coronavirus infection

The document has been approved by the Holy Synod decision of 17 March 2020 (Minutes No. 30)


It is for the pastoral care of people and in response to a request from the sanitary authorities and in preserving the firm faith in the work of God’s beneficial providence and in the Divine omnipotence that the regulations are set up below taking into account the canonical and liturgical Tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Until the epidemiological situation is improved and appropriate instructions are received from the diocesan administration concerning to the full or partial cancellation of the present instructions, the parishes, Patriarchal, hierarchal and monastery representations as well as stauropegial and diocesan monasteries of the Russian Orthodox Church should fulfil the following.

Concerning the offering of the Holy Mysteries of Christ


  1. Noting that the Bloodless Sacrifice cannot in any way be cancelled; for where there is no Eucharist there is no church life, and that the Holy Body and Blood of Christ are offered for the good health of both soul and body (see, for instance, the 7th and 9th prayers of St. John Chrysostom from his Order Preparation for Holy Communion) and taking into account the Orthodox Church’s historical practice adopted in the situation of an epidemic[1] the Holy Mysteries of Christ should be offered and the spoon should be wiped after each partaker with a handkerchief impregnated with spirits (with regular refreshing the impregnation) and then dipped in water to be utilized later according to the practice of washing the kerchiefs.


  1. To offer “zapivka” only individually, separately to each partaker in a disposable ware.


  1. In distributing antidoron, to use disposable hygienic gloves.


  1. In offering communion to laity, the kerchiefs should be used only to safeguard the Holy Mysteries from possible falling down and to dry the spoon, but to dry the lips of each partaker separately tissues should be used and then burnt. The kerchiefs should be boiled and washed with due reverence after each liturgical usage.


  1. Partakers should refrain from kissing the Cup.


Concerning the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation


  1. It is necessary to observe strictly the practice of changing and blessing the water for each separate case. In this connection, the sacrament of Baptism should be administered only individually with an interim disinfection (wiping) the font (baptistery) with a disinfectant liquid (a list of recommended liquids is attached).


  1. For Anointment and Chrismation, a wadding stick should be used (instead of a brush) and a tissue (instead of a sponge) and then be burnt..


Concerning the administration of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick


  1. In administering “a common extreme unction”, that is the Anointing of the Sick, in churches, it is necessary to use a disposable brush for each parishioner separately (such as a wadding stick) and then to burn it.


Other instructions for celebrations, pastoral practice and parish life


  1. Instead of offering the cross for kissing after the Divine Liturgy and other services, it is recommended to place the cross on the heads of parishioners.


  1. Coming back to the statute practice, which has been subjected to a change in the past years, the anointment at the All-Night Vigil should be administered only in cases when the lity and the blessing ofoil are celebrated. In the cases when the anointment is administered, a disposable brush (such as a wadding stick) should be used for each parishioner separately to be utilized later. In other cases, the Gospel or the festive icon (the Cross) should be kissed after the polyeleos with offering the minister’s benediction and with the wiping of the Gospel and the icon (the Cross) after each kiss with the use of a disinfectant solution.


  1. The clergy are recommended to refrain from offering the hand for kissing.


  1. To distribute prosphoras as well as blessed bread at the All-Night Vigil, disposable hygienic gloves should be used.


  1. More attention should be given to the cleanness of the church plates and liturgical vessels, which should be wiped after each liturgical usage and thoroughly washed by boiling water.


  1. The work of Sunday schools and parish clubs should be suspended until a special instruction.


  1. Parish special services, monasteries and their town churches, if possible, should help elderly parishioners in the risk group with home delivery of food and essential goods.


General instructions


  1. Rectors, abbots and abbesses should prescribe the staff of parishes, monastery town churches and monasteries to observe strictly the general hygienic measures including the disinfection of hands during daytime at least once in every 2 hours.


  1. To ensure the frequent ventilation of churches as well as parish and monastery facilities open to public by establishing an obligatory ventilation schedule.


  1. To use a disinfectant solution to cleanse on a regular basis door handles and surfaces of church furniture in common use (including the places for writing prayer petitions, candle boxes, etc.).


  1. To use a disinfectant solution to cleanse on a regular basis icons kept in churches and kissed by parishioners.


  1. Clergy, church workers and staff members of parishes, monasteries and their town churches should treat their own state of health with responsibility and attention. In case of ailing, they should immediately inform the rector (abbot, abbess) about it and seek medical advice.


  1. Rectors, abbots and abbesses, before the beginning of a working day, should organize the measurement of the temperature of their clergy, church workers and personnel interacting with a great number of parishioners (for instance, with the help of a contactless thermometer).


  1. It is necessary to explain to parishioners that the fulfilment of the prescriptions and restrictions introduced here should be perceived as the observance of the words of Holy Scriptures: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test” (Mt. 4:7), and to explain to parishioners that in case of a VRI or other infectious diseases, they should refrain from coming to church for the sake of love of the neighbours and concern for them.




The following chemicals are recommended for sanitation:


  • Chemicals made on the basis of tertiary amides, such as Eveline-4d
  • 3 hydrogen peroxide
  • 70 isopropyl alcohol, such as Septolit antiseptic
  • 75 ethyl alcohol
  • Chlorinated chemicals for cleaning


Patriarchal Press Service

[1] In particular: the communion of the sick with infectious diseases after other partakers (or even at a separately celebrated service) is administered with wiping the spoon with fabric after each partaker and its consequent burning; a separate vessel and spoon are used for the sick; they are washed in vinegar and poured out to a dry well (see, S. V.Bulhgakov, Nastolnaya Kniga…; Pedalion with interpretations of St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite’s on Canon VI.28)

Statement of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on the resumption of armed hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s condolences on the earthquake in Morocco


Patriarch Kirill Holds Negotiations With Primate of The Malankara Church


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with Metropolitan Damaskinos of São Paolo and All Brazil


Congratulations of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on successful landing of Indian spacecraft on the Moon


On the feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates the Divine Liturgy at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral.


On the eve of the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates All-Night Vigil at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill invoked God’s blessing upon the work of the Locum Tenens of the Metropolitan See of the Japanese Orthodox Church


Patriarchal condolences over the passing away of Metropolitan Daniel of Tokyo


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill issues statement following guilty verdict against Metropolitan Jonathan of Tulchyn and Bratslav


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s response to an open address of Archbishop Victor of Artsiz to His Holiness and members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: Russian Orthodox Church’s presence in Africa dates back to 19th century


Address by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the 2nd Russia–Africa Summit


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: “The actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople have paved the way for ecclesiastical disorder.”


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: As long as the Church does not adopt a conciliar judgement on the falling away of such and such bishops and priests into a schism, the sacraments they celebrate remain valid


DECR Chairman partakes in celebrations marking tenth anniversary of the consecration of the Armenian church complex in Moscow


DECR Chairman meets with Locum Tenens of the Metropolitan See of the Japanese Orthodox Church


DECR Chairman meets with Charge d'Affaires of Russia in Japan


DECR Chairman meets Primate of Malankara Church of India


DECR Chairman meets with representatives of Orthodox Church in America


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with Metropolitan Damaskinos of São Paolo and All Brazil


On the feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates the Divine Liturgy at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral.


On the eve of the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates All-Night Vigil at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow


DECR chairman sends condolences over the death of Metropolitan Daniel of Tokyo and All Japan


Hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church visits the Department for External Church Relations


DECR chairman meets with head of Diocese of Novo-Nakhichevan of Armenian Orthodox Church


Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations meets with EU ambassador in Russia


Chairman of the DECR meets with Russian ambassador to Canada.


DECR chairman meets with Archbishop Filippo Santoro of Taranto


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: We welcome any mediatory mission aimed to overcome the tragic conflict in Ukraine and to bring about the prompt establishment of a just peace


Metropolitan Hilarion: Many things in a person's life depend on faith


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Holy Spirit is the main treasure of the Christian soul


Metropolitan Hilarion: Holiness is a constant striving to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ


Metropolitan Hilarion: God does not want to condemn, but to save us


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord always grants to us the opportunity to display our talents


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has imbued the waters of Jordan with his divine presence to wash away human sins


Metropolitan Hilarion: to repent means to change your way of life


On commemoration day of St. Catherine, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk officiated at the Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr In-the-Fields  the representation of the Orthodox Church in America


Metropolitan Hilarion: We can always show compassion for people


Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates on commemoration day of St. Varlaam of Khutyn at the church of ‘Joy to All the Afflicted’ icon of the Mother of God


Metropolitan Hilarion: We should remember that the life of each human being is in the hands of God


Metropolitan Hilarion: For God there is nothing impossible


Metropoplitan Hilarion: The cross which was an instrument of dishonourable execution becomes the symbol of salvation for millions of people


Metropolitan Hilarion: Eucharist is the wedding feast, to which Lord Jesus Christ invites each of us


Metropolitan Hilarion: Faith alone is not enough for salvation


Page is available in the following languages

Fields marked by * are mandatory required

Send a message
Рус Укр Eng Deu Ελλ Fra Ita Бълг ქარ Срп Rom عرب