MIAMI – The global outbreak of COVID-19 has caused major changes to the way many are observing Easter Sunday.
The sound of beach grading and seaweed scraping tractors rather than worship and hymns greeting the start of this Sunday morning on a stretch of beach where Easter sunrise services have happened in years past.
Amid COVID-19, congregations like Holy Rosary Saint Richard Catholic Church in Palmetto Bay are keeping their parishioners both safe and in conversation through live streaming services.
In Italy, third globally in confirmed cases of coronavirus but with the highest death toll after the United States, a message of renewal, hope and courage during Pope Francis’ Easter Sunday mass, which, this year, was seen via live stream from Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
In South Florida, under the protective orders of social distancing, religious leaders like Reverend Scott Henze of Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Weston, saying in that isolation is a collective connection, with Sunday marking a moment congregations can meet online, with virtual services resonating a spirit of our shared humanity in this difficult time.
"You know, it's amazing to me," he said. "Have a little glimpse (of) what disciples went through years ago.
“Social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t connect and love one another, and also can’t observe Easter.”