(NBC News) Easter is not immune to the coronavirus.
Good Friday service at the National Cathedral in Washington was offered via live stream, with no congregation in attendance.
“Until we can walk out of homes unmasked and embrace our families, be patient, endure, Emmanuel, God is with you,” Reverend Canon Dana Colley Corsello told the faithful tuning in.
The Holy weekend began, like so many things now, at a distance.
“It will be even harder not being in the pew on Easter Sunday, but it’s the right thing to do if we care about each other,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said as he urged residents of his state to stay home.
Protective masks won’t mute the traditional easter message of hope, something so many are longing for during the pandemic. But it will come in non-traditional ways.
“Churches are live-streaming. They’re hosting Bible studies by video chat. They are sending out lots of email and other digital communication,” says Bob Pritchett of Faithlife, a company focused on delivering technical innovations to the faith community.
Some are even offering drive-through communions and confessions.
Still, in a handful of cities congregations will gather as they have throughout the pandemic, despite government warnings and orders.
“Everybody’s fine. They would rather come to church and worship like free people than live like prisoners in their homes for 22 days,” says Reverend Tim Spell of Louisiana’s Life Tabernacle Church, which has defied state social distancing orders.
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