NEW YORK – Christians around the world celebrated an Easter Sunday upended by the coronavirus without the usual crowded church Masses and large family gatherings.
Instead, they turned to the internet, television and radio from home to follow services that noted the grave impact of the pandemic. Some found novel ways to mark the holy day. Others still assembled in groups, but took precautions to try to avoid infection.
The virus forced a change in Easter traditions that had even endured wars. Christians in the U.S. contended with a patchwork of limits on how and where they could gather to mark Jesus’ resurrection.
Many states exempted houses of worship from orders curbing communal meetings to help stop the coronavirus from spreading. A few pastors said they would stay open to visitors despite pandemic-fighting guidelines.
But no matter how divergent the celebrations, the message from church leaders around the world remained consistent: prayers for the sick and dead and reassurances of God’s presence. Here’s a sample of Easter events from the U.S. and abroad:
Parishioners from churches across New York City sang “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” from their balconies and windows as part of an initiative organized online.
“My husband and I went out on the balcony and we belted it out as loud as we could,” said Kathy Keller, of Reedemer Presbyterian Church, who helped launch the ‘Easter2020’ singing event.