AMHERST, Ohio — Due to COVID-19, churches are not permitted to celebrate Easter Mass publicly. So parishioners are turning to other ways to worship during this Holy Week.
- Churches closed due to stay-at-home order and social distancing
- Parishioners can watch streaming Easter Mass online
- Amherst Pastor says the goodness coming out of people’s hearts is a blessing in these troubled times
“So, this is a very different Holy Week for all of us this year, having to find ways for most folks to pray at home, praying with their families,” said Father Tim O’Connor, pastor, St. Joseph Church.
This Easter Sunday, churches across Ohio and the country will be closed due to the stay-at-home order and social distancing.
Father Tim O’Connor is the pastor at St. Joseph Church in Amherst.
Since the church is under renovation they will not be streaming Easter Sunday services, but on its website there’s a long list of churches that are.
Father O’Connor is urging the church’s parishioners to go online and enjoy Easter Mass.
“I’m so glad we have the media available to us, it brings prayer into peoples homes, people can feel, even though they are from afar, at the same time, very familiar” said father O’Connor.
Some parishioners say since they can’t celebrate Easter Sunday Mass, they will watch it online.
Well, it is disappointing because I enjoy the fellowship with my fellow congregants and I miss them. Also on Easter Sunday I used to go to brunch with a friend of mine, who’s at a retirement home, and I can’t do that either” said Carolyn Young, of Elyria.
“It’s the first time I ever watched church service online, so my friend Barb Terrell tells me that they’re having a wonderful program so I’m looking forward to it,” said Debbie Mohr, of Elyria.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, Father O’Connor says he’s always trying to find a blessing.
“Even though this is a kind of Lent and holy week that none of us anticipated or hoped for, but I think the good is we’re longing, we’re longing to get back together as a community to pray, to be able to celebrate mass, to enjoy each other’s company — we can’t do that right now,” said Father O’Connor.
Father O’Connor says we are living in unheard of times and even though people can’t come together right now, they are helping thy neighbor.
“I’m also very very impressed with the goodness that’s coming out of people’s hearts and I hear wonderful stories along those lines of how people are taking time for each other, looking out for each other, and to me that’s another blessing even in these troubled times,” he said.