There was so much uncertainty last year about COVID-19 that many churches changed up their Easter celebrations, to reduce potential spread of the disease.
A year later, many churches across the region continue to use a variety of approaches in celebrating Christianity’s most significant holy day.
Last year, for instance, Idlewild Baptist Church, at 18333 Exciting Idlewild Blvd., in Lutz, relied on online services to celebrate Easter. This year, it will be holding a number of in-person services.
The First United Methodist Church of Land O’ Lakes, at 6209 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., livestreamed its Easter service last year. This year, it will have an in-person service.
Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, at 2348 Collier Parkway, in Land O’ Lakes, created a more personal touch for its online services last year, by attaching photographs of parishioners on chairs — so officiants could look at them, while saying Mass.
This year, the church will have in-person services — while limiting the size of the crowds.
Last year, Myrtle Lake Baptist Church, 2018 Riegler Road, in Land O’ Lakes had a drive-in Easter service and it will do that again this year, on April 4 at 10:30 a.m.
Meanwhile, Grace Community Church, at 7107 Boyette Road in Wesley Chapel, will switch from the drive-in service it had last year to an in-person worship service on April 4 at 10:30 a.m. After the service, families will be able to take advantage of a photo booth, to pose for their Easter pictures. Last year, families shot selfies in their cars.
AdventHealth Zephyrhills will have its 36th annual Easter Sunrise Service at 7 a.m., on April 4, virtually, via Facebook.com/adventhealthzephyrhills. The event was held virtually last year, too, after decades of conducting the service on the hospital’s lawn.
Meanwhile, across the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, Bishop Gregory Parkes has kept protocols in place for the nearly 500,000 Catholics in Tampa Bay Area, according to a Diocesan news release.
Those protective measures include social distancing, sanitizing and the use of face coverings.
Church holy water fonts remain empty and collection baskets are not circulated, the news release says.
Bishop Parkes also has kept in place the general dispensation from Sunday Mass at this time.
If you’re interested in attending an Easter service, be sure to check your local church to get the latest details on services. Many places of worship require reservations, so be sure to check soon to reserve your spot.
Published March 31, 2021