Parish Response to the Pandemic

Українською мовою.


The Church is opening!

Our Eparchy has decided to open churches on Sunday June 21 under extensive conditions.

Read the WorshipSafe Guidelines for the Toronto Eparchy

We are gradually opening our church and with your co-operation we shall be back to normal services. We will continue to streamline one service at 8:30 am in Ukrainian and one at 10:00 am in English for those who prefer or cannot attend. Your safety is our greatest concern but you must comply with the rules. We will continue to pray each day for your intentions and for your physical and spiritual welfare. May Our Blessed Lord keep you in His loving care.

The faithful may come to church but are not obligated to do so at this time.

Those who have the following Coronavirus related symptoms should stay home:

  1. a fever above 37.5 C, 
  2. breathing problems,
  3. coughing,
  4. those who have traveled outside the country in the last 14 days,
  5. those who have had contact with a person with Coronavirus,
  6. those who have had contact with a person who traveled internationally and has a breathing problem.

If you are not sure about your symptoms please take the online assessment test by following this link:
https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/

or call Telehealth Ontario: 1 866-797-0000

  • On Sunday we will have volunteers at the entrance of the church, who will be asking everyone about their health. Each person will have to sign a form that they are healthy.
  • To save time the form is available for download so that you can fill them out in advance and hand then to volunteers when you arrive. click here to get the form
  • Everyone will enter through the center doors and go out through the side doors.
  • You will have to sit where you are asked to sit. (Church will be sanitized after every service)
  • There will be no prayer books in church so you must bring your own.
  • Everyone must wear a mask in church for their protection and that of others.
  • People from the same household may sit together. People from different households must practice the 2-meter distancing.

To enter the church and participate in the Liturgical service you must agree to the following rules:

  1. Agree to complete covid-19 screening form (download here).
  2. Agree to wear a mask while in church.
  3. Agree to enter and exit through designated doors only.
  4. Agree to maintain a social distance of 2 m at all times.
  5. Agree not kiss any icons or sacred objects (just bow in reverence).
  6. Agree not to walk around the church except to light candles.
  7. Agree to sit in designated areas only.
  8. Agree not engage other people in conversations while in church.

Please be aware of the following:

The service in which you will be participating is a public event and may be live streamed over the internet.  The front area of the church is in camera view. During reception of the Eucharist in front of the iconostas, you will be visible to the camera. If you do not wish to be on camera please sit in the side pews.


Coronavirus rouses world from delusion of omnipotence

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFMCap (Preacher to the Pontifical Household) : Homily for Good Friday

Excerpt from the Homily delivered April 10, 2020 at St. Peter’s Basilica.

“… The cross of Christ has changed the meaning of pain and human suffering—of every kind of suffering, physical and moral. It is no longer punishment, a curse. It was redeemed at its root when the Son of God took it upon himself. What is the surest proof that the drink someone offers you is not poisoned? It is if that person drinks from the same cup before you do. This is what God has done: on the cross he drank, in front of the whole world, the cup of pain down to its dregs. This is how he showed us it is not poisoned, but that there is a pearl at the bottom of this chalice.

And not only the pain of those who have faith, but of every human pain. He died for all human beings: “And when I am lifted up from the earth,” he said, “I will draw everyone to myself” (Jn 12:32). …

The pandemic of Coronavirus has abruptly roused us from the greatest danger individuals and humanity have always been susceptible to: the delusion of omnipotence. A Jewish rabbi has written that we have the opportunity to celebrate a very special paschal exodus this year, that “from the exile of consciousness”. It took merely the smallest and most formless element of nature, a virus, to remind us that we are mortal, that military power and technology are not sufficient to save us. As a psalm says, “In his prime, man does not understand. / He is like the beasts—they perish” (Ps 49:21). How true that is!

God does this with us sometimes: he disrupts our projects and our calm to save us from the abyss we don’t see. But we need to be careful not to be deceived. God is not the one who hurled the brush at the sparkling fresco of our technological society. God is our ally, not the ally of the virus! He himself says in the Bible, “I have . . . plans for your welfare and not for woe” (Jer 29:11). If these scourges were punishments of God, it would not be explained why they strike equally good and bad, and why the poor usually bring the worst consequences of them. Are they more sinners than others?

No! The one who cried one day for Lazarus’ death cries today for the scourge that has fallen on humanity. Yes, God “suffers”, like every father and like every mother. When we will find out this one day, we will be ashamed of all the accusations we made against him in life. God participates in our pain to overcome it. “Being supremely good” – wrote St. Augustine – “God would not allow any evil in his works, unless in his omnipotence and goodness, he is able to bring forth good out of evil.”[4]

The word of God tells us the first thing we should do at times like these is to cry out to God. He himself is the one who puts on people’s lips the words to cry out to him, at times harsh words and almost of accusation: “Awake! Why do you sleep, O Lord? / Rise up! Do not reject us forever! . . . Rise up, help us! / Redeem us in your mercy” (Ps 44, 24, 27). “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mk 4:38).”

Read the full text here:  vaticannews.va


April 2, 2020 – Read the latest Pastoral Letter from Bishop Bryan Baydan.


Following the instruction of Most Reverend Bishop Bryan Bayda and civil restriction concerning the gatherings of persons, all weekday, Sunday and Feast Day Divine Liturgies are hereby closed to the public. This means that our priests will continue to celebrate these liturgies with limited assistants, such as a cantor, for the given intentions, especially for the parish, the sick and deceased. The faithful are dispensed by the Bishop from the canonical obligation to attend Sunday and Feast Day Liturgies.

During this time of trial let us raise our prayers to the Lord, Physician of our body and soul, for the spiritual strength and bodily health so much needed in these days. May He help us through his peace to overcome our anxiety and fear. Through the prayers of the Mother of God and all the saints.

In Christ,

Rt. Rev. John Tataryn, Pastor.

To read Bishop Bryan’s Pastoral Letter, click here.


What is a Dispensation from Liturgies?

A dispensation from the diocesan Bishop releases Catholics from fulfilling their Sunday obligation (Divine Liturgy). Since public Liturgies are cancelled in the Eparchy of Toronto until further notice, this means that if you live in the Eparchy, the right thing to do is to stay home for your safety and the safety of others. Though there is a sadness for not being able to participate in the Divine Liturgy the faithful are encouraged to offer up their suffering for the sake of those who are seriously ill and for those who have died.

  • What should I do if I can’t go to Church on Sunday?
  • How Do I Make a Spiritual Communion?

The answers to these questions are on our Liturgy and Prayer Page.

Read the article: How can we be the body of Christ when the coronavirus closes our churches?


Holy Mysteries

All baptisms (Rites of Initiation) are cancelled until further notice.

Baptism, confession and anointing of the sick will only be administered in danger of death. Please call the parish office in such emergencies to make arrangements.

For weddings please call the parish office.

Parish office tel: 416-244-5333

The Holy Mystery of Reconciliation (Confession)

Bishop Bryan has issued a decree on General Absolution which the pastor may administer over the next several weeks.

The conditions for receiving General Absolution are:

  • do an examination of conscience in advance.
  • have contrition for sins and a resolution to do better with God’s help.
  • to follow up with individual confession at the nearest opportunity.

To receive general absolution you must ask for it when coming to bless your baskets on Easter Saturday. See the schedule below for times.

To read Bishop Bryan’s Decree on Absolution click here.


The Divine Liturgy  and Holy Eucharist

Please continue to pray and set-aside some time every day to read scripture and pray, especially on Sundays. Some helpful prayer and links are found on our Prayer page, below is the Prayer for Spiritual Communion. As well, make efforts to connect with friends and family by phone and in prayer. Please remember that the clergy of our parish continue to pray for you, and we ask that you remember us in your prayers.

If you would like to dedicate a Divine Liturgy for a particular intention please do not hesitate to call or email the parish office.

Tel 416-244-5333 or email: st.demetrius@stdemetriuschurch.ca

Prayer for Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.  I love You above all things,  and I desire to receive You into my soul.  Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,  come at least spiritually into my heart! I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

Click here for more spiritual resources.


Funerals

We strongly recommend that all funerals be conducted in funeral homes. Gathering restrictions must be followed, in consultation with relatives of the deceased. Persons who are at risk should not attend.
A memorial liturgy can be planned for a later date. Public receptions following a funeral are not to take place on church property.


Liturgical Schedule

  • Lenten Mission – listen online on March 30, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Information for all other Lenten and Easter Services will be posted closer to the actual dates.
  • Parish Sviacheny has been postponed.

Donations

Dear parishioners and friends,

Please keep in mind that the parish office is still open, the clergy and staff are still hard at work.  The parish has ongoing expenses and bills have to be paid.

You can still make your regular donations by mail, in person or donate online. If you are sending donations by mail (cheque only, no cash), please indicate the purpose of the donation. Your Easter gifts of love for the clergy can also be mailed in or dropped off in person.

We are still taking intentions and donations for vigil candles as well. Our clergy will continue to pray for intentions and our staff will light the vigil candles for you in the church as you pray at home.


Please consider making a donation using the button below. You can pay through Paypal or by Credit Card. To request an intention, first enter the amount and method of payment then press donate to enter the details. Please write a brief description or provide the name for the intention where it says “Write a note” before entering your payment details. Thank you.

Щоб скласти свої добровільні датки, просимо натиснути жовту кнопку “Скласти Пожертву”. Ви можете це зробити за допомогою Paypal або кредитної картки. Якщо подаєте прохання про молитву/намірення на Службу Божу, перш ніж вводити платіжні дані, прохання стисло описати ваше намірення або подати ім`я/імена, де написано “Написати замітку”. Щиро дякуємо!