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How sheltering in place changed Easter

By GRACE PAUL

Image by EmArt from Pixabay

Among those who observe the holiday, Easter is celebrated differently from family to family, with some using it as a chance to meet up with family and friends while others simply stick to an egg hunt. Either way, COVID-19 changed the dynamic.

For CHS junior Emma Magee, the change this year was drastic. In a typical year, she and her family would go to church on Easter and spend time with family and friends. This year, that was not possible.

“It was hard not being able to see my friends and not being able to go outside,” Magee says. This year, Magee says they simply made dinner and watched mass on TV.

For junior Nathan Muck, Easter is typically a chance to reconnect with family. This year, however, the gathering was much smaller.

“I feel sad that I can’t see my family, but we were able to Skype and meet that way,” Muck says.

Sophomore Shannon Ikemiya also typically spends time with her family, but she had a more positive outlook on her situation: “[The] change did not greatly affect my Easter experience because I still had the chance to spend time with my family.”

For St. Joseph’s Church, Easter couldn’t have been more different this year. Holy Week, Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday, is an extremely important week for Catholics. A typical Holy Week includes morning mass on Thursday followed by 7 p.m. mass with washing of the congregation’s feet. There is a Friday morning mass and Stations of the Cross at noon, which normally includes hundreds of people walking through the neighborhood. There is a Friday evening mass as well as a long Saturday evening mass and three masses on Easter.

This year, all of those celebrations were done by live stream with the priest, two readers, a singer and a pianist present. There were issues initially when the live feed froze. Father Roy commented that it was very difficult to do the homilies without people in the church because it is difficult to talk to the iPad instead of the congregation.

“One of the most important aspects of being a Catholic is to be in communion with other Catholics,” says St. Joseph parishioner Aana Fitzgerald. “I’m surprised how much I have missed that, especially since I’m one of the volunteers that works it each Sunday.”

Although Easter was different this year, it seems everyone found a way to celebrate and spend time with their family.

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