Celebrating our faith during Holy Week

These are trying times for all of us—financially, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Most everything we’ve come to know has been taken from our daily lives as we adhere to local and state Stay-at-Home orders.

Some health experts believe this week and next may be the most difficult for us in terms of COVID-19 cases and, sadly, deaths.

As we brace for the worst, lost in the rhetoric to many of us is the celebration of Holy Week. This Sunday is Easter.

Diane L. Weber, RN, executive director of the Missouri Association of Local Public Health Agencies, reminds Missouri residents that it’s especially important not to lose focus.

This week, Missouri’s public health community asks Missourians celebrating Easter and Passover to “stay and pray.”

“This is a really important time in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Missouri,” Weber says. “The next two weeks are critical for people to stay home and observe other healthy actions. The actions of one affect us all. If we all commit to staying home, we will be able to stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure our communities can successfully return to a more familiar way of life.”

With Good Friday and Easter upon us, Weber has offered some ideas on how to celebrate safely so we don’t put ourselves or others at risk.

  • DO look for alternatives to view Easter or Passover prayer services online or on TV.

  • DO celebrate with family via video chat or phone calls.

  • DO cook traditional foods at home to enjoy the familiar tastes and smells of the holiday. Eat dinner together via videoconference.

  • DO follow guidance from your local public health agency.

  • DON’T attend an in-person Easter prayer service.

  • DON’T congregate in public areas like parks on Easter Sunday or during Passover.

  • DON’T invite loved ones or neighbors to celebrate at your home.

  • DON’T attend a celebration outside your home.

  • DO celebrate in person with those that live with you.

“Church is about family and community. In these times, the best way we can support our family and communities is to stay at home,” she offered. “The way we celebrate traditions may be different this year, but you are not alone. We all have a role to play in protecting the everyone in our communities, including those who share your place of worship or are served by your faith community.”