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Finding news ways to worship amid COVID-19 pandemic

Bay Area

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KRON) – As Christians around the world enter Holy Week and prepare for Easter Sunday, faith groups really are adapting to the new normal where sanctuaries are closed and worship lives online.

Bishop Oscar Cantu of the Diocese of San Jose spoke during livestream services on Palm Sunday, that parishioners joined via Facebook. 

Bishop Cantu says since the stay at home order was put in place, the diocese has worked hard to keep Catholic’s connected​, by adding an online schedule of services that will continue through Holy Week. 

“As we enter this week, we must continue to use our prayers for our families, for our communities, for our healthcare workers, for so many throughout the world who are suffering,” said Bishop Cantu. 

Catholicism isn’t the only faith group adjusting to the change.

In Walnut Creek, members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church has shifted to Zoom services with Reverend Krista Fregoso. ​

“We do what we normally do on Sunday, we give a sermon, but I’ve added some interactive features, like starting with a question and was able to respond to their responses through the chat,” ​Fregoso said.

Up in Fairfield at Bay North Church of Christ, livestreams have been a necessity for a while but they’ve implemented some visual changes to mirror what members are going through​.

“We brought couches in, we brought lamps in, we want to say hey we understand what you’re going through, we want you to know we’re with you and if we can worship god in the same environment that you’re in, that he is still worthy to be celebrated even in a crisis such as this,” Pastor Sam Morris said.

Even if it doesn’t feel like a traditional resurrection celebration this Holy Week, faith leaders say they’re doing everything they can to break the virtual barrier. ​

“The first Easter was a time of confusion and fear for disciples, so we’re kind of celebrating Easter in a way we never have before,” Fregoso said.

Those we spoke with say making mass and other services available online does seem to be drawing an influx of people joining in to worship.

Of course donations that churches normally would be receiving right now during this season are suffering, most do have ways to donate online if you wish to do so.

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