Holy Week goes virtual as COVID-19 persists
COLUMBIA - As COVID-19 continues to change daily life, many people are turning to their faith for solace.
But places of worship like churches, mosques, synagogues and temples remain closed to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus.
At sundown on Wednesday, the 8 day celebration of Passover, the commemoration of the Israelites freedom from Egypt, will begin. Friday, Christians will celebrate Good Friday, marking the death of Jesus, and Easter on Sunday, marking his resurrection.
Now, people of faith are turning to technology to recreate the joyous celebrations they are accustomed to.
An important part of the Jewish Passover celebration is the Seder - a ritual feast that includes storytelling and fellowship with family and friends.
"This year we are having a zoom-Seder," said Laura Flacks-Narrol. "We're calling it a 'zedar'."
The Congregation Beth Shalom, which Flacks-Narrol attends, has canceled its annual Seder gathering.
Churches in the community have also canceled in person Good Friday and Easter services, instead encouraging people to participate in online services at home with their families.
"We are going through Good Friday, but Easter is coming," said Pastor Fred Leist of Missouri United Methodist Church. "There's a new day. There's a resurrection coming."