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BY 2020.04.30 Lemeshonok from St. Elisabeth Monastery: It is better to Die, but stay with God!

On the website of St. Elizabeth’s Monastery, there was a question from a woman who used to work in this monastery: is it right now, during a pandemic, to go to church? Archpriest Andrei Lemeshonak answered the question.

Andrei Lemeshonok St. Elisabeth Convent Minsk

Andrey Lemeshonok. Photo by minsknews.by

Source in Russian: https://nashaniva.by/?c=ar&i=250960

“I’ve listened and read about how you see the coronavirus crisis, and it causes me a lot of misunderstanding. You say that everything is sacred in the church, you can’t get sick there, you have many years of experience in communion in hospitals, etc. But now we know that people get sick and get infected in the church. […] Now any liturgical texts can be found and prayed at home: why not do it? ” The woman asks.

The rector of the church, archpriest Andrei Lemeshonak, answered the question.

He acknowledged that people are sick, including in temples, including priests, and bishops. This virus is no exception.

“And you can get infected everywhere, even in the so-called self-isolation. But the trust in the sanctuary is lost, ”the answer reads.

“Unfortunately, in the Church, we are all sinners. And if a person is destined to get infected, he will get infected. Sooner or later, we will all leave this temporary world. And we know that the terms of our life, again, are in the hands of God – the Chief Doctor of this world, “the archpriest wrote.

Andrei Lemeshonok and Alexander Lukashenko at St Elisabeth Convent

He notes that now there is pressure behind political and economic interests.

“But the Church is out of politics and out of the world economy. The church serves the people. And when people come to the temple, they come to Christ, not to the priest and not even to the bishop. They come to pray for their loved ones. And to deprive them of this, I think, is absolutely unreasonable, “- said in response.

Andrei Lemeshonok and the Covid Outbreak at the Monastery Easter 2020

“It seems to me that there are some fundamental things from which one cannot deviate. Otherwise, one can lose God. This is my position, and I just can’t live any other way. Then it is better to die, but to stay with God, ”the rector of the church wrote. 

Nicolaos AA Cheropoulos
Father of Anthoula and Alexandra
Stockholm, Apr. 2020
Reviewed Oct. 2023