St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, Ottawa

Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

COVID-19 St. Elias Updates

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This page will be constantly updated with all the measures related to the COVID-19 situation at St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, Ottawa

Very IMPORTANT: Update No. 8 (March 17, 2020)

“ For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matt 18: 20).
Beloved in Christ,
In light of the most recent directives by our father Metropolitan Joseph, the only Liturgical Services that will be held in the Church, at least for the next 15 days, are Friday evening Akathist and Sunday Morning Matins and Divine Liturgy, with 10 people total in attendance, the services will be broadcasted on our Facebook Page. However, we will find ways to get together in prayer and (virtual) fellowship and teaching. I love you all, the Lord loves us, I won’t leave you, He won’t leave us. We will try to utilize technology for the glory of God. We will also try to have the Church open for scheduled hours for individual prayer times. Therefore please refer to the following Parish Schedule for the days of Tuesday March 17th to Sunday March 22nd.
Tuesday March 17th
9-10 pm Facebook “Ask Abouna”. (Asking abouna Nektarios questions live and he will answer on video)
Wednesday March 18th
10 am – 1 pm: Church open for individual prayers (+ Confession upon Appointment).
8 pm – 9 pm: Virtual Great Compline (Stay tuned as to how this will happen)
9.30 pm – 10.30 pm: Facebook Spiritual Reading and Commentary with Fr. Nektarios
Thursday March 19th
10 am – 12 pm: Church open for individual prayers (+ Confession upon Appointment).
8 pm – 9 pm: Virtual Great Compline (Stay tuned as to how this will happen)
9.30 pm – 10.30 pm: pm Facebook “Ask Abouna”.
Friday March 20th
4 pm – 6 pm: Church open for individual prayers (+ Confession upon Appointment).
6.30 pm: Akathist to the Theotokos. (Watch online)
9.30 pm: Facebook ARABIC Spiritual Reading and Commentary with Fr. Nektarios.
Saturday March 21st
3 pm – 5 pm Church open for individual prayers (+ Confession upon Appointment).
8 pm – 9 pm: Virtual Little Compline + Canon to the Holy Cross (Stay tuned as to how this will happen)
Sunday March 22nd
8.45 am: Great Matins (Watch on Facebook)
10 am: Divine Liturgy (Watch on Facebook)
12 – 1 pm: Church open for Individual Prayers
In addition to this:
(A) Those who would like to go to confession can come at the scheduled individual prayer time, having contacted Fr. Nektarios first, and making sure the person isn’t sick or been exposed to someone with symptoms or been travelling. If this will be an extended period, those who need to receive the Holy Gifts (Communion) from the reserved gifts can contact Fr. Nektarios and do so starting next week. Please make sure you do your prayers and fasting before receiving the Holy Gifts.
(B) Fr. Nektarios is available to schedule counseling on the phone/video call for those who need.
(C) St. Mary of Paris Initiative: We have created a ministry team to help deliver Groceries, Medication and essentials to the elderly, sick or people in self-isolation. If you’d like to volunteer to serve on this team or to refer someone that needs the team’s service please contact Myriam Zakaib at 514-928-0882
(D) We know that these are difficult times for everyone, but we kindly ask those who can, to still make their contributions to the Parish, because our expenses won’t stop. You can use our online donation hub for one-time or recurring contributions. Every penny counts as our services and banquet center close and we need to upkeep our operations. Thank you. (
(E) All events relating to Facebook can be found on our Facebook Page (@SEAOCO)

Very IMPORTANT: Update No. 7 (March 16, 2020)

Clarification: According to the most recent Ontario Decision to declare a state of emergency, we are allowed to have <50 people in church and we will, especially our church’s size makes distancing easy (until this moment, things are changing hourly with this situation). Given the size of our parish, we have to ask people to stay home or else we would have more in all services. If you decide to come and be of those few in participation, be early because we’ll have to make sure we abide as this has become a legally binding regulation as per the Premier’s announcement on march 17.

+ We are very sad to announce that, for the time being, and in Compliance with Ontario’s new advisory of limiting gatherings to less than 50 people, and with the directives of our Hierarchs to comply to authorities, we now ask the faithful to remain home at scheduled service times. The Service Schedule will remain the same but it will be the clergy, chanters and servers that will do them.

+ Services will be Streamed live on our Facebook Page.

+ This is where the real work begins, now! Don’t just have the service video in the background. We need you to book off this time as if you were going to church and stand and pray with us! Make this an opportunity to learn to pray full services at home. By doing these services, we are praying for all the parish and the world. And even though we are not physically together, we are in spirit. Time to pray hard and seriously.

Texts for services can be found on the following link:

Update No. 6 (March 14, 2020)

+ In Compliance with Ontario Public Health Directives to limit capacity in the Church to 250 people, we will set up a Screen that will stream the service in the hall (downstairs). Our Hospitality team will guide people there IF we exceed the 250 limit. Thank you for understanding.

+ There will also be a Live Stream of our services on our Facebook Page for those who cannot attend, starting tomorrow morning.

Update No. 5 (March 14, 2020)

+ We are working on setting up Live streaming for services for those who will be staying home and in case we need to take more measure in the coming days. That would be via our Facebook Page. Click Here. 

+ Service Books will NOT be available in pews.

Update No. 4 (March 14, 2020)

+ Please venerate Holy Icons by doing a Metanoia (Bow) and sign of the cross and not by kissing.

+ Reminder that Church Services are still going on but with careful adherence to all the below safety and precautionary measures including avoiding any physical contact among the faithful.

+ All other activities (Coffee hours, Meetings, Church School, Madeeh Dinner, Lenten Luncheon, Receiving lines after memorials etc.) are CANCELLED.

+ This does NOT apply to private events at St. Elias Banquet Centre.

Update No. 3 (March 13, 2020)

Encyclical of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph regarding COVID-19


Update No. 2 (March 13, 2020)

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1: 9)
In addition to the directives we posted yesterday (see comment), and with collaboration with our Bishops and with civil directives and health care providers, please take note of the following measures that we are taking to help the wider society limit the potential rapid spread of COVID-19:
(1) If you have been feeling sick, or if you are an elderly person, kindly stay at home and try to do prayers at home.
(2) If you traveled to a high risk destination, self-isolating for 14-days would be required.
(3) If you have traveled but not to a high risk destination, even with no symptoms, Self-Isolating and monitoring any potential symptoms is wise.
(4) If you have to miss Church because of health reasons, it doesn’t mean that you have to miss prayer. It might an opportunity to establish the habit of doing services at home. (Lenten Services available online, see comment).
(5) If someone if sick and in need to receive the holy gifts, please inform us, Fr. Nektarios WILL NOT HESITATE to visit the sick when needed, i.e. when the person is not just missing one Sunday for self-isolation precaution and is coming back the following Sunday.
This is a rapidly changing situation and we’ll keep you posted, visit Local and Provincial Public health websites for more details.

Update No. 1 (March 12, 2020)

Please follow the following instructions

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