Christians around the world and in Pakistan celebrated the second Easter Sunday during coronavirus pandemic. People mostly isolated themselves in their homes as the third wave of Covid19 hit the country with full force. The most joyous festival was celebrated with the community spaced apart on benches and singing hymns through face covered in mask marked by pandemic safety measures. Whereas, Pope Francis has requested the community around the globe to keep their spirit high during this dark phase of coronavirus.
While talking to Voice of KP, Pastor Sarfaraz said, “As the mass of Easter service began, I unintentionally realised how much I missed prayer gatherings like these. I missed being and belonging to a group. The pandemic has literally made us all suffer a lot like last year we held virtual prayers during Easter.”
Priests around KP tried to fill vacant pews with pictures of their congregants. Masks and family virtual sessions took place alongside the traditional festivities such as Easter meals and family gatherings. A minor difference witbessed this time as there is still light at the end of the tunnel in the shape of vaccination as more people are getting vaccinated which itself hold a bright spot during Easter.
Similarly, Father Patrick told VoKP, “During Easter last year, the word like social distancing, wear the mask, use sanitisers and no physical interactions were still new for many Christians and clergy as they tried to adjust to the reality of coronavirus.”
In KP officials from all government levels and political stripes advised against in-personal Easter meetups, particularly those happening indoors. All provinces imposed new rules during the third waved to temper a variant-fueled increase of coronavirus cases.
Covid-19 precautions were observed throughout the congregation on Easter but still, it looked different than last year. Churches allowed 50 per cent capacity of masses while observing strict social distancing in place, however, people were also given the option to watch the service from their home.
Priest Joseph told VoKP, “God does not need to be found in the church. Open your hearts and minds to His presence. Allow your Easter vibe to happen in your own private space by staying safe, taking care of your loved ones and those in need.”
Since Covid-19 has badly affected the province, for most people the coronavirus might cause moderate and mild symptoms, but for others, especially the elderly and already sick people, it can cause severe symptoms and resultantly fatal.
The new normal is temporary, there will become a new normal and that is what we should look forward to during the festivities and these dark times.