COLUMBUS (WCMH) — With many church services canceled across central Ohio due to the coronavirus pandemic, getting to worship on Easter Sunday can be difficult.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus announced in March that all public masses through Easter are canceled. The diocese later announced the closure of public access to church buildings.
NBC4 will be sharing services live from Saint Joseph Cathedral in Columbus on Easter Sunday so you can celebrate safely from home.
The special presentation will be Sunday, April 12 starting at 10:30 a.m on TV on NBC4 and right here on nbc4i.com.
NBC4’s Colleen Marshall recently spoke with Bishop Robert Brennan about the drastic steps being taken by the church in the midst of a global pandemic. Bishop Brennan said he never imagined that this could actually happen.
“Yet, what a year it’s been. This is a very serious pandemic and I thing we all have a moral responsibility to look out for one another,” said Brennan.
Brennan said the decision to close the churches was a gradual one, made as the facts became more clear. By chance, the Ohio bishops were in a pre-scheduled meeting when they had to make a decision.
“It became painfully evident it was the only choice we could make,” said Brennan. “To do otherwise would have been putting people in danger.”
Many central Ohio Catholics have turned to live streaming masses and those broadcast on the radio.
“In the midst of all of this, there’s been a flood of creativity. I’m so proud of the pastors and the parish teams. The parishes have been so creative in reaching out to the people,” said Brennan.
Bishop Brennan said people are using tools like Zoom to pray the Rosary together or do bible study. That said, he acknowledges it’s not the same as actually being there.
“It’s not the same as that sacramental encounter. It’s not the same as experiencing the lord in holy communion or in the sacrament of reconciliation,” said Brennan. “There still is that sense of loss. So, when we pray, we pray recognizing that sense of loss, but also longing for that day when we’ll all be together again.”