On face covers and masks
In the glory of our Holy Triune God
Archim. Savvas Hagiorite
Wearing a mask/face cover in the temple of God is blasphemy to the Holy Spirit, it is unfaithfulness and impiety.
The face cover/ mask is:
1. Blasphemy to the Holy Spirit who resides inside the temple. It introduces doubt and also the idea that the faithful may become infected from the temple or from his brother inside the temple.
2. It is contempt to the ‘in the image’, it is a cover of the image of Christ, which eminently appears on our face.
3. It is in violation of the 62nd Canon of the Quinisext Ecumenical Council which prevents us from wearing face masks.
4. It is in violation of the commandment which states that we ought to worship God “having our face uncovered” so that we see His Glory, communicating thus with our Lord and with our brothers face to face.
5. It is distortion of the Orthodox Worship, e.g. it is impossible to fulfill the liturgical act of kissing in the Divine Liturgy and also the kissing of the Holy Icons, of the priest’s hand and of the Holy Relics, while wearing a mask. All of the above are commandments of the Lord, Who taught us how to officiate the Divine Liturgy. Additionally, it is in violation of the commandments of the Holy Spirit of the Holy Fathers, who determined that he who doesn’t kiss the Holy Icons with his lips, becomes excommunicated, in accordance with the VII Ecumenical Council. Additionally, it introduces novelty in the Orthodox Worship.
6. The Divine Worship is reminiscent of carnivals. Reverence is affected in general and more specifically during the Holy Communion. How can he who has just had communion, wear a mask, with the blood of Christ on his lips?
7. It is a novelty in the Church, prohibited by the VII Ecumenical Council. “But every novelty and breach of the Holy Tradition is condemned by the VII Ecumenical Council with severe punishments to those who invented and applied them; with dismissal to the clergy and with aphorism to the laymen and monks”. Karmiris I., “The Dogmatic and Symbolic Monuments of the Orthodox Catholic Church. VII Ecumenical Council. Excerpt from the minutes of the 7th and 8th session, p. 241, Athens. (From Ioannis Litinas, “How will you show your faith through your works? If you despise death”)
Wearing a face cover/ mask inside the Holy space of the Church is:
1. Blasphemy to the Most Holy Triune God.
2. Violation of the Orthodox Faith (Dogma) and Life (Ethos).
3. Distortion and mockery of the Orthodox Worship.
4. Violation and contempt of our Christ whom we wore through the Holy Baptism and we carry His image.
5. Unfaithfulness and impiety.
6. Impermissible novelty in the Holy Tradition.
Glory to our Triune God unto the ages!
Archim. Savvas Hagiorite