Message on Holy Week 2020

Dear Parish Family,

This Sunday starts the most important week in the life of our Church.  Every year, we have been blessed with amazing services and spiritual revitalization during Holy Week.  So, we all have been longing to spend this time together in the Church. 
However, we are also in the midst of a crisis in our state that we cannot ignore. Our local authorities and our spiritual fathers have issued rules that do not allow our normal Holy Week services. This is a hard sacrifice that we need to make in order to show our love for our neighbors. 

But even if we are not allowed to worship together in the Church, I know we are all committed to doing our best to make this week holy.  Our parish is made up of resourceful and resilient members who can make the most of a difficult situation. 
Starting on Sunday evening, I hope to conduct all the evening, morning, and afternoon prayers for Holy Week by video/teleconference. I would like your help and participation in the readings and the songs whenever you are available to join.  I also would like to have devotional messages prepared by our members each evening. After I send out the scheduled times, please let me know which times you are able to volunteer to read or sing. 

Regarding the special services and Holy Qurbanas, I have been given strict orders that the services should only be conducted if they can be performed safely. There are a number of restrictions limiting who and how many people can attend that make conducting the services difficult for us. 

Thus, our parish family must be prepared to make sacrifice of not attending the services in-person.  We will need to come to terms with the need to watch a live stream of the services and do our best to bring the prayers of Holy Week into our homes and our hearts. 

Please pray for our parish, the sick, healthcare workers, and an end to this terrible pandemic. 

Yours in Christ, 
+Vijay Achen
www.sbgocnj.org

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