Holy Week with Virus Restrictions

Bishop Ed: "We will get through this, and will be better for it"

Stained glass windows

Getty Images

Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - There has never been an Easter season like this.

Churches are finding new ways to worship during the holiest of weeks on the Christian calendar in the era of Covid-19. 

"We've never experienced anything like this," said Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, Apostolic Adminstrator of the Buffalo Diocese.

As Holy Week begins, and with Passover just a few days away, churches, synagogues and mosques are empty. These religious institutions are confronted with challenges they have never faced before. Many have shut their doors and ceased daily and weekly services. The pandemic has forced many churches to rethink services and provide guidance remotely through social media and technology.

"We will get through this," said Bishop Scharfenberger. "There will be an end to it and we will be, in the long run, better for it."

Catholic churches in the Buffalo Diocese will not be distributing blessed palms on Sunday. Bishop Scharfenberger said with gatherings discouraged, leaders have decided that there would be no palms this year, due to the risk of many people handling them and spreading the virus. 

Bishop Scharfenberger said he's been spending most of his time at home, cooking, calling people and writing. He said the pandemic has brought-out the resourcefulness of people.

He also sees some irony in the season. "Lent would usually be coming to an end right now," he said. "But it almost seems like it's just the beginning." He noted while many faithful have been making sacrifices and giving things up, "we're now being asked to do more."



Comments ()