Islanders accustomed to celebrating Easter in large church gatherings will settle for services on their computer and television screens this weekend.
Rev. Douglas Rollwage of Zion Presbyterian Church in Charlottetown said numerous churches will be livestreaming or pre-recording Easter Sunday services.
He advised people to check the website or Facebook page of their local church for service details.
The coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) pandemic has created great hardship for many people, not to mention a sense of isolation.
Rollwage encouraged Islanders to draw personal strength on this religious holiday that commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his death by crucifixion.
“Easter Sunday, you really want to send the message that He has risen … that is the main message of Easter no matter what the external situation may be," he said.
“The message of rising up … we need to get up as well. It is not the time to wallow in self-pity or sorrow. It is time to alleviate the suffering of others."
Bishop Richard Grecco recently addressed the Diocese of Charlottetown in a pastoral letter on celebrating the Holy week during this pandemic.
“We are living in trying times," he stated.
“We have never experienced a crisis of global proportion, a pandemic. We have altered drastically our daily lives, our work habits, our social activities including our Sunday services, to promote public health and to protect our loved ones and our community."
He added the parish churches of the Diocese of Charlottetown continue offering daily mass “so that collectively we remain strong and determined to support each other throughout these many difficult days."
He noted despite the absence of parishioners at mass the priests know that many parishioners join them through their own personal prayers and family devotions.
He informed that Eastlink Community TV will televise the scriptural way of the cross Friday at 9 a.m. He added parishes that live-stream likely will offer Good Friday service as well.
The Sacrement of Reconciliation (confession) is available for individuals at parish churches and pastoral units. This shall adhere to proper social distancing.
On Easter Sunday, Grecco is asking all Catholic parishes across P.E.I. to ring the church bells at 12 noon for 60 seconds or more to “celebrate the glory of Jesus’ resurrection and His invitation to us to follow Him".
He added when the bells are ringing, he invites all the faithful in the province to pray the Lord’s Prayer.
“In solidarity may our united, prayerful voices help us rise above this crisis and one day rise with Christ to eternal life," he said.