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Youtube Services: Questions and Answers

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Given we are in imposed isolation for at least some weeks and perhaps even - God forbid - longer, forcing us to gather in prayer to our Lord over the Internet instead in our church, here are the answers and recommendations of our priests on some questions and dilemmas arising from present situation.

Why do we even broadcast the Divine Liturgy over the Internet?1
Is it advisable to profane the service to the Lord in this way, allowing the Holy Mysteries to be broadcast to everyone, even to atheists and enemies of our Lord?2
I can’t pray to God in front of the screen. What is the purpose of such prayer? It is better to pray alone.3
Why is the Liturgy shortened? Has performing the service changed during this pandemic?4
What is the purpose of such ‘online’ Liturgy if I cannot receive the Holy Communion?5
Is it OK that we listen to the service only, for example while we are at work and not able to actively participate?6
Is it OK to watch just the recording partially, e.g. the prayers or priest’s homily?7
How can I help?8

  1. Why do we even broadcast the Divine Liturgy over the Internet?

    Because we are prevented to admit the faitful to our church service, due to current COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the state. Although we are aware that this way of attending the services cannot replace the communal prayer of the parishioners in the temple, we decided that, at least in this small way, help the faithful to sustain the common prayer link with the Lord.

    By providing this service we also want to soothe and encourage the faithful flock in these muddled times that our priests continue regulars services to the Lord, bringing the prayers to the Lord on behalf all our parishioners.

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  2. Is it advisable to profane the service to the Lord in this way, allowing the Sacred Mysteries to be broadcast to everyone, even to atheists and enemies of our Lord?

    Holy Communion is not broadcast; the live stream is interrupted after the Liturgy of Catechumens. The Holy Communion and the rest of the Liturgy is performed as usual in the temple.

    The main aim of these service broadcasts from our church is active participation of the parishioners in prayer, not passive watching or listening. This is the reason why we broadcast in real time, when the service is actually performed, instead of uploading the recording later.

    If such an active approach is taken when joining in this common prayer, and our behaviour and participation is modelled on how we behave when going to church, then any disrepect of the service is just not possible.

    Hence, we prepared detailed instructions and advice on how to approach these Youtube broadcasts - how to prepare, what to do during the service and after it is finished (click here for details).

    Call our priests and have a chat with them how to adjust these recommendations, if required, to your particular domestic circumstances and spiritual level.

    Finally, we care about what is beneficial to our faithful, not what the unbelievers or God haters do - may God convert and incorporate them in his Catholic and Apostolic Church.

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  3. I can’t pray to God in front of the screen. What is the purpose of such prayer? It is better to pray alone.

    Beside personal prayer rule, where it always advisable to discuss it with your priest to ensure spiritual growth and avoid any confusion, the Church demands the common prayer too.

    Christ specifically mentions the common prayer: “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." (Mt 18.19-20)

    Therefore, you don’t pray in front of the screen; you pray together with other parishioners whose number you could see during the broadcast; and also with the service participants you can see and hear on the screen, and with whom you are one in Christ.

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  4. Why is the Liturgy shortened? Has performing the service changed during this pandemic?

    The Liturgy is not shortened, but the service broadcast is shortened, by the blessing of Bishop Siluan. After the end of the broadcast, the Liturgy continues as per usual to its end without any changes.

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  5. What is the purpose of such ‘online’ Liturgy if I cannot receive the Holy Communion?

    Again, the main purpose of these broadcasts is common prayer.

    For all your spiritual needs, including the Holy Communion, please contact Fr Petar or Fr Milorad directly and they will accomodate you in appropriate and lawful way, as per instructions of our Biship Siluan and laws of the State of Victoria.

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  6. Is it OK that we listen to the service only, for example while we are at work and not able to actively participate?

    The main prupose of the broadcast is the common prayer, not passive participation. If we are not able to give proper attention the Lord, it is better to finish the work we have, and review the whole recording or specific prayers afterwards, during our personal prayer rule, when we are able to offer ardent prayers.

    However, if the type of work is such so it does not demand mental concentration, i.e. a prayerful state is possible while you listen to priests’ prayer in course of work, then it can be spiritiualy benefitial. It is possible that the souls finds sanctuary in the Lord while the work gets postponed… Check with your priest.

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  7. Is it OK to watch just the recording partially, e.g. the prayers or priest’s homily?7

    Yes. While the point of the Youtube service is primarily prayer-oriented, either as common prayer during the broadcast, or personal prayer while watching the recording later, it is fine to watch just the parts where a useful information concering our parish or recommendations of our priests can be heard.

    From time to time, we feature such shorter segments: check our playlist Short Cuts (for example, Fr Petar’s inspired homily on Vidovdan).

    Also, we leave timestamps of interesting moments in the video comments, for example homilies, prayers, beautiful singing, etc. so you can watch such a moment with one click. For example, check the comments on St Thomas Sunday Liturgy.

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  8. How can I help?

    The best help is regular presence; find the time and join us in common prayer. Subscribe to our channel, share with your friends who may not be aware of our regular broadcasts, so they attend too.

    Like our videos and leave comments or suggestions, especially negative ones, so we can improve in the future. If you watch the recording later, leave the timestamp of some more relevant segments in the comments, for example the homily or reading the Gospel, so other people can find it easily later if interested.

    Before the broadcast, greet others present and chat with them using the chatbox on the right side; we usually post the Youtube links several days ahead so the messages can be left in advance.

    During the broadcast, let us know in the chat box of any technical problems.

    Buy the candles so the priests can light them for you during the Liturgy and send the names for commemoration of living and departed using our kiosk page.

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