Easter has a distanced setting as COVID-19 lingers
Sofia Rositani – Arts & Entertainment Editor
“He has risen” is a quote you will hear as a Christian all day on Easter. I grew up attending Easter mass at 8 a.m. and having a large family dinner.
This is why it is so weird for it to be different this year. Walking into service on Sunday was odd as every other row of pews was sectioned off, which meant it was very hard to find seating as there were many people there for mass.
Everything else was the same, with masks added and COVID-19 precautions in place. This made it a little harder for me as a Catholic woman who likes taking communion the original way rather than by hand.
I also found it odd during the moments of “peace be with you,” because I am used to shaking hands and giving hugs, so when there was none of that, it was very odd to put a peace sign.
While the Priest who did the mass at the church, I attend talked about how people who litter are like sinners—they throw away the trash like it’s nothing not knowing that it is harming the environment which can then harm us, the Pope talked about harder topics, including the ongoing pandemic.
“The pandemic is still spreading, while the social and economic crisis remains severe, especially for the poor. Nonetheless— and this is scandalous — armed conflicts have not ended and military arsenals are being strengthened,” Pope Francis said.
While the pope spoke about people suffering around the world from terrorism in their countries and democracy, there was one theme that continued to shine during mass and that was hope.
“The risen Christ is hope for all who continue to suffer from the pandemic, both the sick and those who have lost a loved one,” Pope Francis said.
This speech was very powerful for those who watched it, bringing me to tears as he spoke these words. Usually, the Easter Vigil at the Vatican brings in over 10,000 people to the Vatican each year but due to COVID-19 restrictions, only 200 people were able to attend the mass, standing 6 feet apart while wearing masks in the secondary altar of St. Peter’s Basilica, according to CNN.
In Waterbury, CT, mass was held in Holy Land at sunrise, with people who attended showing up at 5 a.m. and the mass starting at 6:15 a.m. They were to bring their own seats. This mass constantly happens in Waterbury, but due to COVID-19 making it harder for people to attend indoor mass, they opened up Holy Land to do more masses.
During the day many people took to Twitter posting about how Christ has risen and a new day is upon us, many of these tweets were deleted under violating community guidelines on Twitter.
A new way people are able to attend mass from the comfort of their homes, something that only the Vatican usually does prior to COVID-19, is livestreaming mass; making it easier for the older generation and devoted Catholics who may have COVID-19 to attend mass and not miss a week.
This is something that works, because it makes it easier for people who cannot attend due to work or something else in their lives. Having the opportunity to do it from home after work can help from getting the catholic guilt of not attending.
Pope Francis said during the Easter Vigil, “May the efforts to resolve conflicts peacefully continue, in respect for human rights and the sacredness of life, through fraternal and constructive dialogue in a spirit of reconciliation and true solidarity.”