Triangle churches prepare for in-person Easter services amid COVID-19

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — With Easter a couple of days away, churches across the Triangle are preparing to welcome people in for in-person services.

“It’s gonna be different than any other Easter,” said Monsignor David Brockman of the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral in Raleigh. “People are truly hungry for that message of hope.”

The Cathedral has been holding in-person services since May, but to control large crowds, they’re requiring parishioners to reserve an online ticket for mass. Brockman says it’s an added measure to prevent the virus from spreading.

“We want to make sure all of the good work we have done since last May to ensure people’s safety, gets maintained,” he said.

The pews can hold up to 2,000 people, but each mass will be limited to 700 people. Brockman says there are no more tickets available.

“Many people, because they want to be here and as close as possible to it, are in the parking lot watching it on their electronic device and then we will bring communion to them,” he said.

St. Joseph AME Church in Durham is also holding an in-person service this Sunday. But Pastor Jay Augustine is leaning on the advice of the church’s pandemic response team, and encouraging people to watch and worship from home.

“Over the course of the last year, we’ve invested very heavily in technology to make sure people stay safe,” Augustine said of holding virtual services. “Right now, when there are variants that are out and where there is obviously a lack of data on how well the vaccine is actually working and tolerance to those variants, we want people to be safe.”

He added, “And the last thing we want to do is be a place where super-spreader events occur.”

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