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For many, Easter Sunday means a return to face-to-face

Boston (AP) —For many US Christians, this weekend is the first time since 2019 that they will meet directly on Easter Sunday. This is a welcome opportunity to celebrate one of the most holy days of the year alongside a fellow congregation.

A pandemic occurred in March 2020, just before Easter, forcing many churches to rely on online or television worship services. After the deadly winter wave of coronavirus, and while vaccination campaigns were still on the rise, many continued to retain virtual services last spring. But this year, in line with broader social trends, more churches are opening the door to Easter services with few COVID-19 restrictions.

Among them is the Catholic Parish of the Archdiocese of Boston. This again requires most church attendees to attend the Mass directly since June last year. ..

MC Sullivan, chief medical ethicist in the Archdiocese, said it was important for Catholics to jointly celebrate Mass for the way they profess their faith. Attendance at church is on the rise, and parishioners are excited to meet again to commemorate the resurrection of Christ.

“It’s great to see how many people are participating in Mass right now … it seems to have brought many people back to the idea of ​​what’s important to them,” she said. Said.

Most pandemics have been lifted, but some regional parishes, such as the 6am Sunrise Mass near the South Boston waterfront, offer Easter Sunday services outdoors.

Hundreds of people lit candles in the vast cathedral of St. Paul, Minnesota, after Bishop Bernard Hebda lit a Pascal candle to open an all-night vigil for Easter at the end of Saturday. I did.

When the candles flickered in the dark, the 100-year-old cathedral echoed in the congregation’s singing voice. After 8 pm, far more than the number of round-eyed children and masked people fascinated by small flames. The Archdiocese withdrew all Covid Protocols on April 1st.

Similarly, the nearby Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, which became a community hub during the protest against George Floyd’s murder in 2020, ended the mask requirements at Palm Sunday, shoulder-to-shoulder with rails instead of seats. I returned to fellowship. Pastor Ingrid Rasmussen said Easter attendance was expected to be similar to the pre-pandemic level, but was divided between those in the pew and those who attended in remote areas.

Christchurch Lutheran, also a Minneapolis architectural landmark, has taken a cautious approach to loosen the COVID protocol. However, there was an indoor Easter all-night vigil on Saturday night, followed by a procession of the Gospel in the middle of Sunday’s sanctuary, while masks and social distance measures remained.

Pastor Miriam Samuelson Roberts said: “We don’t take it for granted.”

The Peace Lutheran Church in Baldwin, Wisconsin, held another Easter in the sanctuary after 16 months of service, baptism, and funerals in a parking lot surrounded by fields and dairy farms. However, the service continues to be broadcast via social media and local TV, successfully attracting people from other communities.

Pastor John Hanson said:

In New York City, the New Middle Collegiate Church was gathering for the first face-to-face Easter service since 2019, but not just the historic Manhattan Church, which was destroyed by a fire before December 2.

They share the space of the East End Temple while they are being rebuilt. There, Ravijo Stanton prays during the Easter celebration as the synagogue observes the Holy Day of the Passover.

Rev. Jackie Lewis, senior minister of the New Middle Collegiate Church, said everyone had to be “unprotected and masked” and that 190 people attending the temple was limited to 150 people. COVID test. Coffee hours are held outdoors in the park across the street.

“We miss it, but we don’t hug to go through peace. We bow to each other,” Lewis said. “We are monitoring the numbers and we need to be safe, so we pivot.”

The Bedford Presbyterian Church, just north of the city of Westchester County, also carefully monitored the prevalence of the area and followed public health guidelines. The congregation is divided into two face-to-face Easter services for social distance, the sanctuary windows remain open, and the church uses a sturdy air purifier.

“As we head for the third Easter, when COVID is imminent, the pastors adjust a lot of concerns and expectations,” said Pastor Carol Howard Merritt. “We know that the church avoids isolation and builds a community, so we are trying to find a way to worship directly and online.”

Dell’Orto reported from St. Paul, Minnesota, and Henao reported from Pennsylvania.

The Associated Press’s religious coverage is funded by Lily Endowment, Inc. and is supported through a collaboration between AP and The Conversation US. AP is solely responsible for this content.

Copyright 2022 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

For many, Easter Sunday means a return to face-to-face

Source link For many, Easter Sunday means a return to face-to-face

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