No traditional Easter services at churches this year

Video services and "Drive-In" are some options in WNY

Mike Baggerman
April 10, 2020 - 3:00 am

True Bethel Baptist Church on March 15, 2018 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – Churches will have to come up with creative ways to hold an Easter service on Sunday because of the restrictions on gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Many churches, including St. Leo the Great Church in Amherst, will conduct their annual Easter service using live streaming capabilities. Churchgoers will not be able to visit the churches in person.

“It’s very strange,” Monsignor Robert E. Zapfel told WBEN. “We’re used to praying with people. One of the things we do best as a church is to bring people together, to pray, set a good example to others, and to work with charities. We’re just not getting together and the rest of our society is going through the same thing.”

St. Leo the Great Church is hosting Easter vigil at 7 p.m. on Saturday. They will also be working with St. Benedict and St. Peter & Paul of Williamsville as part of their Easter vigil.

Other churches are coming up with creative solutions to celebrate the Easter mass. Though True Bethel Baptist Church prefers people stay home and following a live stream of their service, they are giving some churchgoers the option of a “drive in ceremony”.

“People are able to drive up in their cars for an abbreviated service, never get out of their cars, and they can leave their windows up. We have our own small broadcasting station at the church that can be heard a mile away.”

Pridgen said that while the pandemic has affected all churches, it hasn’t stopped their mission of trying to bring God to people.


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