Second wave of Covid dampens Easter celebrations

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Rev Fr. Thumma Solomon washing the feet of elderly persons during the mass observing Maundy Thursday at St Mary’s Basilica in Secunderabad. — Photo: Surya Sridhar

Hyderabad: The celebrations of one of the holiest days for Christians – Easter – will be a subdued affair, owing to instructions from the government against congregations at places of worship to contain the Covid-19 spread.

Requesting people to avoid coming for the service, several churches in the city are gearing up for Easter. Father Vijay J, of St Theresa Church, Sanathnagar, said, “Our’s is a very old and big church. As there were no celebrations last year, people are inclined to attend the services this year. Hence, we have divided the congregation in three to four batches. Everyone’s temperature will be checked at the gate. Also, on a bench that can easily accommodate five people, we will allow only two, and no one will be allowed to take off the mask. The church will also be sanitised after each service. We have also asked people to not bring seniors or sick members of the family to the church.”

Many churches will be telecasting the services live on various platforms. Clive Lloyd, of Bolarum Church, said, “We had several programmes planned, including a skit. However, looking at the rise in cases we have decided to cancel them. The services will be telecasted on the our YouTube and Facebook pages, so that people who can’t come to the congregations attend the service from home.”

The church authorities, however, shared that people are not very pleased with the situation. Easter is celebrated by Christians after observing 40 days Lent.

A member of Catholic Christian’s community, Secunderabad, Malcom Taylor, said, “Easter is very important for us. After not being able to attend the services last year, many were hoping to go to church for congregation this year. Although there was a bit of panic initially, people understand that going to church can be very risky given the situation.”