We continued celebrating the Holy Liturgy all the way through the “pandemic” in the Piraeus Archdiocese, even though the civil authorities forbade us to do so! 

They initially forbade us to celebrate the Holy Liturgy but later allowed the celebration of the Holy Liturgy only with a priest and a singer. I took the Holy Body of Christ the Saviour who was prepared for the Liturgy of St. Gregory the Great from the Romanian Orthodox Community of Panaghia Odighitria Church of Piraeus and took Him home. I continued to serve the Holy Liturgy for two years with the whole community consisting of 70 members! We gathered in secret. After the Greek police were aware of our services, we moved to a larger apartment. For almost two years, I served in the house with the faithful, without masks or vaccines or social distancing, but crammed together to worship Christ. This is how I served the Holy Resurrection of Christ. It is better to obey God than the will of man! Nobody was ill with covid. All the 70 Romanian believers – the old, the young and children – shared a single metal Holy Spoon which was “unsterilised”!

After a while, the civil authorities allowed services again, but with restrictions such as social distancing and wearing of masks by the faithful in the church. I could never accept such things, so I continued to serve at home all the time. 

Protopresbyter Matei Vulcanescu

N.B. In Greece, the covid restrictions were targeted against the Church: although one was allowed to go to the supermarket, one was not allowed to go to church. Priests who spoke against the restrictions were arrested.