BOSTON (AP) — The Easter and Passover holidays were accompanied Sunday by more relaxed restrictions on houses of worship and gatherings in New England, along with worries about the spread of COVID-19.
Many houses of worship required congregants to RSVP for a limited number of in-person service seats. Others held outdoor ceremonies. And, as has been the case throughout the pandemic, many had online services through Zoom, Facebook or YouTube.
Bishop Thomas Brown of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine said the Easter holiday felt different from last year. People now have a better understanding of the pandemic — and they see light at the end of the tunnel as more people get vaccinated.
“We are feeling the truth of raising new life. Last year at this time, it felt like a huge blanket of grief,” Brown told the Portland Press Herald.
Rabbi Andrew Vogel of Temple Sinai in Brookline, Massachusetts, said there’s a confluence of hope surrounding the Jewish Passover, which ends Sunday evening, and the Christian celebration of Easter, also Sunday.
Passover and Easter “are still full of hope. Especially now that we’re turning the corner,” he told The Boston Globe.