During a Holy Week unlike any other, here’s how you can worship
EDMONTON -- In spite of pandemic-induced lockdowns, closures and self-isolation, Holy Week continues for Christians in Edmonton.
While mass gatherings are no longer an option in the new reality, Catholic churches, Anglican churches and Jewish synagogues alike are finding ways for their congregations to stay connected to their faiths.
“We’ve had to make a number of adjustments, just as people everywhere have, in every walk of life,” Lorraine Turchansky of the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton told CTV News via video chat.
“I think the loneliness is just the saddest part of this pandemic, for a lot of these folks are stuck at home,” she added.
Archbishop Richard Smith led a Palm Sunday service from St. Joseph’s Basilica in Edmonton through an online livestream April 4.
“We’ve had thousands and thousands of views,” said Turchansky.
If your beliefs lean more to the Anglican side, here in Edmonton that Archdiocese has you covered as well.
Holy Trinity Anglican Church has been live-streaming its Easter services all week. All services are posted on its website.
Another major religious holiday kicks off this week, as Wednesday evening ushered in Passover.
The Jewish celebration lasts from April 8 to April 16.
Normally Passover would see large family and community groups gather for the traditional Seder.
“It’s a really really difficult time, especially Passover,” said Beth Israel Synagogue Rabbi Zolly Claman through video chat.
“Not only in its significance, but like all holidays, but especially Passover, there’s a very profound family and community orientation that it kind of orbits around."
Historically Beth Israel Synagogue has hosted about 150 people for its annual Passover Seder.
With COVID-19 causing restrictions on such gatherings, the synagogue has been coaching its members on how to run their own Seders from home.
“We’ve been running a lot of classes in the virtual zone,” said Claman.
“With the blessing of the technologies that we have, you know think if this happened you know 10 years ago even or 20 years ago how much more limited communities would be.”