CHICAGO - The pews at Holy Name Cathedral were empty for quite possibly the first Easter Sunday in the history of the church. People instead watched Cardinal Blasé Cupich deliver mass online.
That’s what a number of other churches did, as well. Despite everyone being in their own homes, congregations used the world wide web to sing songs together and pray together.
This Easter Sunday was dramatically different than anything we could’ve imagined, but all in all, people say now more than ever, they feel God’s presence.
Some of the words spoken by pastors across Chicagoland today:
“No matter how dark the darkness, morning will come.”
“We’re locked away from the ones we love.”
Some took the love of Christ straight to seniors, like one in Wheeling where the Easter Bunny serenaded them outside their windows and then told them, “You are a precious part of this world. We are caring about you. We are protecting you.”
To the young, the governor said have no fear, the Easter Bunny is an essential worker, and that he was in Riverside where he walked up and down the sidewalk waving and smiling at children.
“We just want to see like kids smile and bring happiness and especially at a time like this,” said Amber Kobella, the Easter Bunny’s helper. Kobella began doing this to honor the memory of her son who passed away in 2017.
At Holy Name Cathedral, Cardinal Blase Cupich delivered Easter Mass with no one in the pews.
“It is a moment to believe that God is going to do something new and unheard of as we come out of this crisis that we face,” said Cardinal Cupich.
At a nearby church, which also hosted their services online, the pastor said, “ I invite you to quiet your phones like you would in the sanctuary, try not to multi task, make sure you have the bulletin handy or on your screen and light a candle.”
As we look back, Easter 2020 will likely go down as a time of great sacrifice.
“I know hard it is to break from traditional celebrations of togetherness, but I believe passionately that adapting our expressions of faith at this time is one of the most faithful acts of all,” said Governor J.B. Pritzker
But not everyone abided by the stay-at-home order. Chicago police responded to several complaints where churches were hosting services. When police showed up, people left and there were no citations issued.