NEW YORK (CBS New York) — Easter is one of the most important days in the Christian calendar, but churches in the area were empty on Sunday.
People celebrated in very different ways, including online streaming services, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.
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It was a surreal sight outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Hardly a soul was seen.
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Normally inside, the pews would have been filled with parishioners celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This year, however, due to the coronavirus outbreak, worshipers were only able to watch the service online.
“We miss you though. We would rather you were here physically, and I hear we miss you too, and look forward to returning to your parishes for Sunday Mass. It’s good. It’s refreshing,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
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Riverside Church had an elaborate and interactive Easter Sunday service available to watch on YouTube. Digital Minister Jim Keat led the team that set up the service.
“Even though we’re physically far apart, we’re still socially close,” Keat said. “Use the comments below or the live chat feature on this video to say hello. Introduce yourself to the people around you.
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The Morningside Heights church has been live streaming its Sunday services for at least six years, but since in-person services had to be canceled, online attendance has grown from around 200 people to more than 1,000 for each service . The Easter service included its first virtual choir, with members registered at home.
“Virtual choirs are my favorite thing right now because it lets you hear and see their smiling faces as we sing together,” Keat said. “We can kind of have a, you know, spiritual connection. But we really feel it concretely when we have people around us. »
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It’s a connection Reverend Keat said we all need this Easter season, to know that we are not alone and that God is with us too.