BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - COVID-19 has robbed us of celebrating some of our favorite holidays. From Christmas to Thanksgiving, life has been anything but normal.
This time last year, the thought of having an Easter service wasn’t even possible.
“I remember last year, there was no one in the church; everything was shut down,” said Bishop Michael Duca. “There was no Easter service, none of them. It was almost an Earth-shaking kind of event.”
Thanks to Gov. John Bel Edwards easing restrictions, we’re one step closer to how things were pre-COVID. There’s currently no capacity limit at churches, which paves the way for a more traditional Easter celebration. However, some churches are still taking precautions.
The Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge will still require people to socially distance.
“We know how to do it. We know the deal. We also know how to bend the regulations to an extent in a safe way,” Duca added.
Many churches are even allowing people to reserve seats and offering overflow. Father Michael Alello said they expect a full house Sunday but will set boundaries. They plan to space everyone apart and will ask people to use hand sanitizer before anchoring.
“I think that’s one reason why people have felt comfortable coming back these last few months because we’re still celebrating the sacraments and our faith but we’re doing it in a manner that makes people still feel safe and comfortable where they can come and worship with their community,” said Alello.
He said Easter is a day of embracing a new beginning, something we haven’t done because of COVID in quite some time.
“That’s a word we haven’t used a lot in the last year. You talk about embracing the handshake or the hug but to see everyone reunited and our faith community come back alive is such a blessing,” Alello added.
If you are fully vaccinated, the CDC advises that you can gather indoors without wearing a mask but encourages social distancing and wearing a mask with others that aren’t vaccinated.
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