Worshipers celebrate Easter as COVID vaccines increase

Eighteen percent of Americans or nearly 162 million people are completely vaccinated.

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COVID infection is still on the rise in part of the country, including at least 25 states and Washington, D.C. Worshipers in Los Angeles celebrated Easter Sunday in the church for the first time in months.

They were inside the containers and outside the cars, where the free limits of COVID allowed them to meet. Some people, however, are exposed and ignore security agreements.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb told CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that Americans must remain vigilant.

"We are in a very precarious position, there are still a variety of revolutions that we do not fully understand," she told manager Margaret Brennan.

It is a race between the deadly strains of coronavirus and vaccines. The CDC said on average that 3 million people a day get a gun. On Friday there were four million record vaccinations.

Ratings are valuable. At a Baltimore production plant where 15 million vaccines were damaged, the U.S. government He instructed Johnson & Johnson to use it.

Meanwhile, at the national airports this weekend, a record number of passengers were spotted as people gathered for the holiday.

Here in New York City, Pastor Timothy Weisman of the Lutheran Church welcomes worshipers with personal services - the first of its kind since November.

He told CBS News that it was a difficult year during the epidemic.

“Having 30 people in a room is an amazing feeling,” Weisman said. "Living together in one room ... is proof to me that there is life beyond the epidemic."

The holy day of Easter is celebrated with joy and pride by Christians all over the world and is considered one of the most auspicious days for the community. It marks Jesus Christ's resurrection.

As mentioned in the Bible, Christ was crucified on the day of Good Friday and buried in a grave after his last supper which is commemorated as Maundy Thursday. However, on the third day when his disciples visited his grave, they found that the grave was empty. The day marks the triumph of Christ over death and this also makes him the 'Son of God'. The day is celebrated with pomp and grandeur every year.

mid the throes of the coronavirus pandemic, just like other festivals, this year's Easter celebration will be slightly lacklustre and is taking a virtual turn -- as it is being celebrated for the second time under the Covid shadow.

ANI spoke with Church authorities and people who are celebrating Easter across the country, and how the commemoration is different this year amid the pandemic.The Sacred Heart Cathedral, one of the oldest churches in the national capital, which typically draws thousands of people for its Easter week services, had just 25 to 30% of the worshippers allowed into the church.

Father Lawrence, Parish priest, Sacred Heart Cathedral said, "The number of people visiting the church has been restricted for Easter this year as well. The services will be held at 30% capacity of the church. Senior citizens have been advised to avoid visiting the church."

On Good Friday many people used to come, but this year due to Covid-19, the number of people were restricted. The number of people visiting the church has been restricted for Easter this year as well. The services will be held at 30 per cent capacity of the church. Senior citizens have been advised to avoid visiting the church," he added.

With regards to the Holy Week, Archdiocese of Bombay, Oswald Cardinal Gracias in a video message said, "We have been observing the standard operation procedure for Easter celebration. We have been sticking to the number which is 50 (only 50 people allowed), social distancing, wearing of masks and the provision of the sanitisation of hands. The govt circular encourages us to do online streaming of services and multiple masses. The confessions are also fixed before and after the mass specifically.

"Ryan Biem, who is a resident of Mumbai shared that celebrating Easter on 'video chat' with the closed ones is what he is going to do this year. "Easter is usually celebrated by offering Easter eggs (chocolate eggs) and some wine to cheer the hearts. Although due to Covid meeting and celebrating is not possible, technology has created an alternative "Video chat"... Believe me just watching your loved ones on camera and having a few drinks makes Easter delightful," he said.

Rhea Serrao talked about how the celebrations are different amid pandemic and said, "People can physically join in the celebration of the Easter mass as compared to last time where there was a complete lockdown, and they now can visit their families which wasn't an option last year. The masses will be streamed online for those who cannot make it to the church and they will receive holy blessings from their homes.

Rajitha Akhil, who is a resident of Delhi and a homemaker shared that amid the current situation, there is a lot more difference in the celebrations as compared to previous years.

Sharing what has been the major differences in Easter celebration due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rajitha said, “This year, gatherings are just limited to one mass a day. Many people have even avoided attending the gatherings in churches due to the current situation.”

"My in-laws who are elderly and my 5-month-old daughter, and many like them are also not visiting the church on the festival. We have Zoom meetings on which people can attend the mass and celebrate by experience the cathedral's atmosphere at home," she added.

Rajitha said Covid-19 protocols have been put in place for the safety of people. "Even the church seating is limited, and LEDs are placed outside so that people can take part in the prayers. Changes have also been made in the arrangements that includes sanitisation and the social distancing norms," she said.

Eva Nikhil Stephen, a Delhiite shared how the Easter celebration is different this year, "People are celebrating the festival through Zoom app, the Pastor recites prayers on behalf of people, and the video is streamed to the devout willing the receive blessings of God. Even if someone visits the church, there is a temperature check and sanitisation process which is a mandate. After entering the church, only two or three people are allowed to be seated on a bench, in line with the social distancing norm."

"Earlier there were small 'cottage prayer meetings' in which Christians used to gather for small prayer meetings in the local neighbourhood, and now after COVID-19 came into existence all the cottage and small meetings have been stopped. The devotees are provided with the links to Zoom app to attend prayer meets."

Father Walter De Sa, Parish Priest, Immaculate Church, Panjim, spoke to ANI about the standard safety procedure and said, "We have to abide by SOPs and guidelines given by the Church and our capacity will be limited, but we have increased the number of masses. The temperature and phone number of people attending mass will be taken and the church will also be sanitised. The distribution of refreshments will also not be done."