CHICAGO (CBS) — Some are calling it the most meaningful and bizarre Easter in memory; one celebrated at home with loved ones, maybe taking part in services by phone or video conference, rather than at church.
CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross has more of the faith fallout of COVID-19.READ MORE: LIVE UPDATES: 130 Homes Damaged In Tornado In West, Southwest Suburbs As Dangerous Storms Hit Chicago Area Sunday Night
Churchgoers across our area will live stream services, some on their computer, some by phone, at the urging of Gov. JB Pritzker and local leaders.
The gothic architecture of Fourth Presbyterian Church on the Magnificent Mile, the artistry of its stained glass windows, adds to the reverence of services inside. But instead parishioners on Easter Sunday will see a different kind of architecture.
Rev. Shannon Kershner’s home will instead serve as the temporary home for services; a stack of books serving as her pulpit, her living room serving as the sanctuary.
“Yes, this is it. This is as real as real as it gets,” she said.
A year ago, local Catholics enjoyed each other’s company in song and prayer inside Holy Name Cathedral, but the potential transmission of COVID-19 forced the Chicago Archdiocese and most other churches across the nation to cancel public celebrations for Holy Week and Easter Mass.
Once considered a tradition, gatherings like Easter egg hunts are now considered a health risk. Kids and other churchgoers, as a result, will celebrate in relative solitude, but in healthier conditions.
“It’s the right decision, period. It’s the right decision to do, but does it hurt? Is there loss involved with it? Absolutely, and not just on a spiritual level,” said Auxiliary Bishop Ron Hicks, of the Archdiocese of Chicago,READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Second Sunday Night Tornado Confirmed; Cool And Clear Monday Night
Hicks said there’s no substitute for the community a traditional service provides, but the Archdiocese will do what it can to provide togetherness online
Elizabeth Diaz has adapted well to video streaming. She will watch services from home with her husband and two kids.
“Kinda just gotten used to it,” she said.
The trip to the family room will take less time than a drive to church, but it’s still not ideal.
“This is definitely the second-best thing, but it’s better than nothing as far as I’m concerned,” she said.
Modern solutions and adaptation for religious celebration.
“Yet it’s still going to have the authenticity, and hopefully the simplicity and beauty of a worship service on a regular Sunday,” Kershner said.MORE NEWS: Assessing The Damage: Tornado That Ripped Through DuPage County Classified As EF-3
While services will look different, church leaders said the message on Sunday might be the most important in memory; focusing on togetherness in a time when so many are separated.