Easter 2020 will be greatly impacted as people find creative ways to celebrate while being socially distant and on lockdown. On a normal Easter weekend, millions of Americans participate in group activities like going to church services, having large family dinners or hunting for Easter eggs. However, with more than 50 percent of the country in some form of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the government encouraging all Americans to practice social distancing, this is not a normal Easter.
Easter, which will be celebrated on April 12, 2020, is one of the most important holidays in the Christian religion. The springtime holiday, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, is usually observed with special worship services, family gatherings, and community-hosted egg hunts.
However, this year, the beloved traditions have been canceled to comply with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, which include bans on large crowds and stay-at-home orders. Celebrants have scrambled to find some innovative ideas that families, communities, and individuals can devise to ensure Easter 2020 will be enjoyable for all.
By now, many celebrants would have visited various neighborhood annual Easter egg hunts, had their child’s picture taken with the Easter bunny, and bought some beautiful new pastel outfits. However, due to the spread of COVID-19 forcing Americans into their homes for the foreseeable future, it is more likely than ever that people are debating whether to even buy Easter candy for baskets this year.
Whether a religious person or one who celebrates Easter as the formal welcoming of the new spring season, this year many will be celebrating differently to accommodate the coronavirus epidemic. In fact, a new survey by “Wallethub” shows that 68 percent of people’s holiday plans will be impacted by the virus. To get even more specific, half of the people are skipping out on buying Easter candy, new outfits and Easter food this year.
Easter 2020 will be greatly impacted by COVID-19, but there is a silver lining. People are reporting feeling more thankful than ever before. In fact, 40 percent say they are a lot more grateful for their families than they were before the coronavirus outbreak. Also, almost 30 percent of people are more aware of how blessed they feel to be in good health.
On this holiday, families typically dress in their finest attire and head to worship services. Unfortunately, in-person attendance will not be possible this year. To make up for it, churches nationwide are getting innovative. Many have already begun streaming services. Others will join the movement and live-stream their services on YouTube or Facebook, allowing people to listen from the comfort of their homes.
Some churches plan to offer drive-in Easter services. Worshippers will be allowed to park outside the church at a safe distance from other cars. They will then be able to tune their car radio to a low-frequency FM transmitter and hear the service while watching the pastor, band, and worship leader conduct the service from a stage.
While many areas have banned gatherings of more than 10 people, including religious worship, many states, including Ohio and Pennsylvania, have exempted religious organizations from forced closures. Some churches and pastors in the United States are ignoring stay-at-home orders with claims that “God will protect” them according to Psalm 91:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ … ‘Because he loves me,’ says the LORD, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.’ ~Psalm 91 (NIV)
Additionally, in-person Easter brunches with extended families will not be possible, so many are hosting virtual meals via video calls on online platforms such as Zoom. Others are setting up portals on social media sites like Facebook to continue with beloved Easter traditions, such as making candy with family members who live elsewhere. Meanwhile, restaurants are offering special Easter meals, which can be picked up curbside or delivered to homes.
Easter 2020 will be different because plans have been forced to change. However, it is not canceled. Many people are trying to celebrate the holiday while still maintaining proper social distancing by participating in phone or video calls to family and friends, watching church services remotely and even going on indoor Easter egg hunts. As the country continues to settle into “social distancing” and turn the focus inward to individual homes and immediate loved ones, Easter 2020 can be even more meaningful. Despite any changes due to COVID-19, the goal is always to have a happy and safe Easter!
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Wallethub: Coronavirus Easter Survey
DOGO News: Celebrating Easter Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Restrictions and Lockdowns
Bible Gateway: Psalm 91 (NIV Translation)
Top Image Courtesy of pasja1000’s Pixabay Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of Wave Church – Used With Permission
Featured Image Courtesy of suju-foto’s Pixabay Page – Creative Commons License