Easter weekend saw people find new and inventive ways to celebrate and connect with their family and friends, at a time of isolation and lockdown.
People adapted and modernised their traditions, using social media and digital channels to celebrate and it was certainly a different type of Easter, with old and new colliding like never before.
A social Sunday service
The most noticeable example of this came from the leader of the Worldwide Catholic Church – Pope Francis. The 83-year-old pontiff made a thoroughly modern-day decision and preceded over Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday Mass through a live stream on The Vatican’s YouTube channel. All liturgies took place at the Vatican in St Peter’s Basilica, with the Stations of the Cross procession in St Peter’s Square.
And whilst members of the public were not present during the religious commencements, millions of people watched and listened on various media platforms as the Pope repeated the Easter proclamation, which went “from heart to heart” across the globe.
In the UK, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, delivered his first digital Easter Sunday service from his kitchen in London. He took the opportunity to praise the ‘heroism’ of frontline workers amid the coronavirus outbreak. In common with clergy and people across the Church of England, all readings during the service were recorded at each individual’s home to observe social distancing. At present, the YouTube Easter Sunday Service has almost 70,000 views, with more weekly services now scheduled due to the popularity and the need for connection at this time.