The Eastern Prelacy has decided to discard all liturgical restrictions imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Below we provide the full text of the Circular by His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate.
To Pastors and Boards of Trustees,
We are pleased to announce that beginning on January 6, 2024, the Feast of the Holy Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ, all remaining liturgical restrictions regarding Holy Badarak will be lifted. The Prelacy Religious Council, at its regular meeting of December 7, 2023, decided to return to regular, pre-COVID practices in accordance with our church customs and traditions, specifically relating to the following issues.
- The Kiss of Peace (Voghchooyn) will be henceforth exchanged in the traditional way with the greeter saying “Krisdos i méch mér haydnétsav” with the respondent answering “Orhnyal é haydnootyoonûn Krisdosi.”
- The distribution of Holy Communion will return to the traditional method where the priest deposits the Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord directly in the mouth of the recipient. Of course, there are exceptions for those who are reluctant to return to the traditional practice due to ill health or other concerns. It is also important that our faithful approach the Holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in a reverent, humble, pious and penitent manor asking God’s forgiveness before receiving the Sacrament by saying “Mégha Asdoodzo” and by Crossing themselves and saying “Amen” afterward.
- Lastly, the prohibition for “Kissing the Gospel” at the end of the Holy Badarak has also been lifted.
It is customary for the faithful to line up at the end of the Badarak and approach the priest one by one, bow down with reverence in front of the Gospel held by the priest and say to him: “Hishéstsé Dér ûzbadaraakûs ko yév zaménayn ookhdûs ko ûntoonéli arastsé” (May the Lord be mindful of your sacrifices and accept your supplications). The Priest will respond “Datsé kéz Dér ûsd sûrdi koom yev zaménayn khûntûrvadzûs ko na gadaréstsé” (May the Lord grant to you according to your heart and fulfill all your wishes).
With this return to our tradition, let us joyously praise and glorify our Lord for His wisdom and for all of the precious gifts He shares with us throughout life; most notably these sacred, holy and most precious practices which we are privileged to enjoy in our worship as part of our faith and devotion to Almighty God.
Prelate, Eastern United States