NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Easter is one of the most important days on the Christian calendar, but churches across the area were empty Sunday.
People celebrated in very different ways, including streaming services online, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.
It was a surreal sight outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Barely a soul was seen.
Normally inside, the pews would have been filled with parishioners celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This year, however, due to the coronavirus outbreak the faithful could only watch the service online.
“We miss you, though. We’d rather you be here physically, and I hear you miss us, too, and are eager to get back to your parishes for Sunday mass. That’s good. That’s refreshing,” Timothy Cardinal Dolan said.
- Resources, Hotlines, Unemployment & Covering Bills
- Remote Learning Tools For Parents Teaching At Home
- Ask Dr. Max Your Health Questions
- How Make Your Own DIY Face Mask
- How To Safely Remove Disposable Gloves
- Complete Coronavirus Coverage
The Riverside Church had an elaborate and interactive Easter Sunday service available to watch on YouTube. Digital minister Jim Keat led the team that put the service together.
“Even though we are physically distant, we are still socially close,” Keat said. “Use the comments down below or the live chat feature on this video to say hello. Introduce yourself to the people around you.”
CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Morningside Heights church has live streamed its Sunday services for at least six years, but since in-person services had to be canceled, online participation has skyrocketed from about 200 people to more than 1,000 for each service. The Easter service included its first virtual choir, with members recorded in their homes.
“Virtual choirs are my favorite thing right now, because it lets you hear and see their smiling faces as we sing together,” Keat said. “We can have some sort of, you know, spiritual connection. But we really feel that concretely when we have people around us.”
It’s a connection Rev. Keat said we all need this Easter season, to know we’re not alone and that God is with us, too.