Easter services are among the community events on Salt Spring that will not take place in their usual form or setting this year due to COVID-19.
This week provincial health minister Adrian Dix and health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry warned residents the restrictions on movement and gatherings will likely last through May, if not longer. They particularly asked religious leaders to find alternate ways of celebrating important events coming up on their calendar such as this weekend’s Easter observations.
Father Scott Whittemore reported that will be the case for Our Lady of Grace Parish. He will be celebrating the regular Holy Week dates with masses but without the presence of any people. The service will be modified according to directives from Rome.
“This week is the climax of our whole liturgical year. People are being asked to spiritually unite with me during these times,” Whittemore said.
There is also information on the parish website www.ourladyofgrace-saltspring.ca on how to see masses on television or through the internet.
The Flowering of the Cross has been a significant tradition at Salt Spring Island United Church over the years. This year will be a little different in that the cross will be outside. Community members are invited to bring flowers from home or those that they’ve picked on a walk to place on the cross “as a reminder to ourselves and to the community that we are a people of resurrection and new life.” There will also be some flowers available from the container next to the cross.
The church also suggests reaching out to someone this Easter – with a phone call, an email, a flower or a chocolate egg at their door.
The Anglican Parish is posting Sunday services every week on its website at www.saltspringanglican.ca. There is an e-Church link beside the priest’s image, and prerecorded Sunday service become live each Saturday evening.
Last Sunday’s Palm Sunday post included themed music, a Zoom-recorded passion reading and more. The local parish is expecting something special for Easter, too.
More community events planned for later in the spring are now being cancelled or postponed as the timeline for staying home extends. Most club meetings, festivals and fundraisers are on hold until further notice or will not be held in 2020.