Orthodox response to coronavirus

Blade Runner

Both. I imagine it is state dependent. I know some people that just deal with the mask thing but others have reported it is creepy (what I think, it scandalizes me). The entire situation is ridiculous and will at least be bad until the election, at least. I'm saddened as I find it to be something more deeply dividing us all, as well.
I'm reading Eucharist, Bishop, Church by Metropolitan John Zizioulas, a study of ecclesiology in the early Church. He points out when St. Paul writes to a Eucharistic assembly, he calls it "the Church of God at _____" and ends the letter with a doxology. When he's writing to more than one Eucharistic assembly he calls them "Churches" in the plural, and he refers to the Christian community in general as "the saints."

The Church, the body of Christ, is manifest when we participate in the Eucharist. St. Paul explains it in 1 Cor. 10:16-17: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread."

Not only was I blown away by how thoroughly the relationship between Church and Eucharist is woven into the New Testament, but it hit me why it's so wrong for us to shut our doors on Sunday mornings. Without the Eucharist, we're not the body of Christ. Rather, we're just the body of Christians. Masks, social distancing, and the like are all issues within the Church. But an empty parish on Sunday mornings isn't a problem within the Church, it's the absence of a Church.

The way forward:
1. Pray for my bishop.
2: If a parish I attend closes, contact my bishop and ask him to reconsider.

We can't blame the hierarchy if we don't pray for them or keep them accountable.


It's strange for me as a novice trying to learn more about Orthodoxy (which is supposed to be the most "based" Christianity) to have many Orthodox congregations bowing to the Satanic COVID paranoia while some Protestant sects are resisting more vigorously. I am thinking in particular of a Black Baptist church that stayed open (with full-throated singing) and a "prosperity doctrine" pastor who is quite keen on resisting.

Blade Runner

Yes, it is curious that certain traits can lead to great theology but if you aren't careful can also get you trapped in a society or culture where things are coming down on you, but you tend to be less bold as an outward manifestation. I think orthodoxy in the modern, wealthy west is like this to a tremendous degree - I'm sad to say. The idea that Christianity should be more ecumenical has been a world movement and it has great influence on the current state of things. The really difficult question that constantly needs to be asked and debated is this very idea and how people have a tendency to be emotional/more feminine about it. That is, should Christians shun exclusivity? I personally don't think so since our history and liturgy has so many elements of being exclusive (catechumens, the doors!, eucharist, etc). These current crises actually show us that so many of our churches were watered down and the worries of the world are far more important for many members that perhaps we realized, or even thought possible. Of course, the retort will always be something along the lines of "Mercy" or "Economia" but - and this is my personality as a male and someone who would also be on this forum - what's the point of diminishing what you are so others can pretend they care?

People are very uncomfortable with this hard reality. I understand it, but for that reason I also think it should be discussed genuinely, and frequently.