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Early this afternoon, the government issued a statement concerning the current restrictions. The Cyprus Mail report can be found here: https://cyprus-mail.com/2020/12/22/coronavirus-slight-relaxation-of-measures-for-christmas-eve-new-years-eve/
Essentially the current restrictions are extended until Sunday 10th January with slight adjustments to curfew arrangements on 24th December and 31st December. As a concession, the government is allowing churches to open only on Christmas Day and Wednesday 6th January. A maximum of 75 people can attend a service and there must be social distancing of three-square metres.
In light of this I have decided that the parish will hold the following services on Christmas Day:
08.15 Holy Eucharist (without incense) [AKB],
09.15 Communion Service at St Luke’s [KRW]
11.00 Zoom Service [AKB].
There will also be a Reflective Zoom service for Christmas Eve at 1600.
I appreciate that there will be a measure of disappointment that there will not be a service at St Stephen’s. This is largely because it would be difficult to staff the service at St Stephen’s given the timings, above. Moreover, the emphasis on 3 square metre spacing is clear and this would reduce numbers able to attend St Stephen’s and it is late in the day to request a registration process be put into place.
I believe that it is important that we offer a Zoom service especially for any of who may feel uncomfortable about attending a church service, given that you would be gathering in a confined space and you may feel vulnerable in this situation.
I understand that some of you will feel disappointed that we cannot offer more but at Ayia Kyriaki we are constrained in our use of the building by existing arrangements with the Latin parish. Moreover, we are not permitted to open our churches other than on Christmas Day. I do encourage you to be a little more adventuresome this Christmas and maybe think of attending the 0915 service at St Luke’s, if 0815 at Ayia Kyriaki is too early for you.
Do keep in mind the Christmas Eve Reflective Zoom Service (4.00pm). It will be structured differently from a Morning Worship Service and is designed, over 30-40 minutes, to allow you to ponder some aspects of the Christmas story. Di Sylvester will be sending out details along with the publishing of the usual arrangements to allow you to connect to this Zoom service.
I hope to see as many of you as possible over Christmas Day. Don’t forget your facemasks.
Meanwhile, a very happy Christmas, when it comes.