Churches Preparing to Welcome Worshipers Safely on Easter Sunday

Massachusetts houses of worship could not celebrate Easter in-person last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but many are getting creative to ensure a safe and fulfilling Holy Week

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Virtual services are now the norm for many churches, but after not being able to celebrate Easter in-person due to the pandemic last year, many houses of worship have gotten creative to ensure this year's Holy Week experience is safe and fulfilling.

"We found they're craving it, so we're trying to give them that opportunity, but at the same time, be careful about it and make sure people feel safe," said Pastor Jamie Walton of Cornerstone Church in Uxbridge, Massachusetts.



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Walton says that means offering four services this weekend, with preregistration and pre-marked pews.

"So, if you haven't been back, but you've been here before, you can expect it's not going to be jam-packed like it normally is," said Walton.

At Saint Anselm Catholic Church in Sudbury, Sunday's services will be held outside — something that congregation has done successfully since last summer, and even throughout the winter months.

"We decided to try to make it drive-in style so that people could stay in their car and remain warm and safe from COVID and so on, and yet be at Mass, be with everybody," said Father Brent Otto.

Otto says while some services will still be held indoors with limited attendance, they've set up Stations of the Cross outdoors and will be maximizing parking lot space to welcome as many of the faithful as they can.

"Even though it takes so much work, extra work, to put on Mass outside with the audio, and how to distribute communion in car windows and all that," said Otto, "we've got a team of like 10 people here an hour early setting everything up."

For parishioners who can't or still don't feel comfortable attending services in-person — whether inside or outside — most churches who spoke with NBC10 Boston still plan to livestream their Holy Week events and services.

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