CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Easter Sunday is normally a time when many people gather at church services around western Massachusetts. However, due to COVID-19 social gathering restrictions, celebrations are going to be a little bit different this year.
“I’m really very happy of the way that our parishes have been reaching out in so many ways that are safe but yet show the presence of God through this coronavirus,” Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski told 22News.
According to the National Retail Federation, 32-percent of people celebrating Easter plan to go to church virtually by watching online services. A day when many people typically have large gatherings of family and friends, 34-percent said they are going to visit family and friends virtually.
Churches around western Massachusetts such as Lifepoint Church, Bethany Assembly of God, and churches in the Diocese of Springfield are holding online Easter church services. Many churches are using online video services such as Zoom where parishioners can still see each other.
“It’s very difficult for us. Particularly during this Holy Week and Easter not to be able to gather,” Bishop Rozanski continued. “We know that the events we commemorate each day particularly this Easter Sunday are events that happened that give to us meaning as Christians.”
Alternatively, some churches such as Calvary Baptist Church in Easthampton is holding drive-in church services where attendees will worship from inside their cars.
All Catholic churches in Springfield were asked to ring their bells at 10 a.m. Sunday to celebrate Easter despite the churches being physically closed.