Bunbury closed churches stream services

Nicolette BarbasSouth Western Times
Bunbury’s Greek Orthodox Father John Sullivan.
Camera IconBunbury’s Greek Orthodox Father John Sullivan. Credit: Nicolette Barbas

Easter egg hunts and worship services will be put on hold this year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to run rampant across the world.

Celebrating the belief that Christ resurrected from the dead, Easter is one of the most important holidays in the Christian and Orthodox religions.

Easter week at Greek Orthodox churches around Australia typically involves hundreds of people attending mass and drinking wine from the same spoon, with congregations in some churches spilling out onto the street.

Bunbury’s Greek Orthodox Church was closed to parishioners on March 19, with all services streamed through Facebook.

With numbers of attendees at Greek Orthodox churches typically on the rise from now until Greek Easter in mid-April, Father John Sullivan said the church was facing a “difficult situation”.

“Easter is one of the biggest celebrations in the orthodox church, so this is a really difficult time for us,” Father John said.

“We have not been given a directive on how we will be approaching Holy Week and Easter yet as everything is changing quite rapidly, but our Bishops will continue to guide our faithful however we can.”

Harvey’s Catholic priest father Jess Navara said the church was preparing to stream the Holy Week services through the Parish Facebook page, but the transition had not been an easy one.

“The last two weekends I have been pre-recording mass celebrations and posting them on Facebook for people to watch and share, which is what I will do for Holy Week,” he said.

“I have had people phoning me to say they have never missed a Holy Week celebration, so it is very tough, but out of this anguish and anxiety I am glad to see the community come together and uplift the overall spirit.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails