COVID-19 has pushed churches to alter Easter Sunday services

For a second year, churches will have to proceed with caution.

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Easter Sunday is slowly approaching and for a second year, churches will have to proceed with caution. The ongoing pandemic has pushed them to alter their services once again. Church services have been different for about a year now; even with one of the biggest holidays of the year quickly approaching local pastors are hopeful for the best in the midst of what seems to be the worst.

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“We’re preparing for the best and hoping for the best because there is no worst case scenario for us,” said the pastor of Covenant United Methodist Church Reverend Eugene Bramlett.

Easter services may not be at full capacity, but Covenant United Methodist Church in Columbus plans to celebrate traditionally; while still having covid protocols in place.

“We’ll be having an Easter Sunday worship service beginning at 11:00 a.m. It will be a traditional celebration of Easter and the traditions of the church,” said Bramlett.

Bramlett said that they have been in church for the past month and having Easter services was another way of getting his congregation back together.

“There was a hunger for us to be together in common worship and it was very trying for the folks in this congregation to be so separated for such a long period of time,” said Bramlett.

While services are scheduled for Sunday at Covenant United Methodist; across town at the Boys and Girls Club pastor Marcus Wilson said he and his church family have already begun their Easter services.

“We’re actually in revival now outside in the parking lot here at the Boys and Girls Club tonight is our last night of the road to resurrection revival,” said Wilson.

For Easter Sunday they will be doing a little more than usual.

“As far as our Sunday service of course praise and preaching and prayer. Also, we’ll be giving away baskets to our youth and were also preparing a care package for a family in need to be a blessing to them,” said Wilson.

Both churches say whether traditional or virtual, their message remains the same.

“We’re able to continue that work in our Church and in our community to be a blessing as Jesus has been a blessing to all of us,” said Wilson.

“It’s hope, it is the expression of love, it is the expression of forgiveness, it is the expression of resurrection,” said Bramlett.

The Mississippi State Department of Health this week updated guidelines for worshiping in person. Health experts say virtual options or outdoor services remain the safest ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.