ST. LOUIS — After spending last Easter at home, many of the faithful in the St. Louis metro area are eager to spend Holy Week with their church families.
"It's different when you actually see people when they are there,” Pastor Ed Zumwinkel at Webster Groves Presbyterian Church said. "That’s one thing we've learned, how important it has been to our community to be together when we can, do it safely."
A small group is better than none the senior pastor said. During the pandemic, his church has cut down on the number of people worshiping in-person and broadcasted services online. This Easter, he’s going to try and bring as many people back as possible by holding a service outside and socially distanced.
“This is the first time we've done this, but we are going to do an 8 a.m. worship service outside in our parking lot,” Zumwinkel said. "People who come to that will need to bring their own lawn chair and find parking, which isn't always easy in Webster.”
Parishes within the Archdiocese of St. Louis all have slightly different protocols. But all are still following local health guidelines. Many parishes and churches are utilizing signup sheets, which helps with contact tracing and to make sure the congregation stays within a safe number.
"We recommend people check with their local parish before heading out to Mass to see what the protocols are before signing up," spokesperson Maria Lemakis said. “We are joyful more people are showing up in person and feeling comfortable doing so now that the vaccine is more readily available."