Last year, Christians had to celebrate the beginning of Holy Week virtually due to the pandemic. One year later, a sense of normalcy was felt as worship returned to in-person with safety protocols in place. KDKA's Chris Hoffman has the story.
- Welcome back. Today is Palm Sunday. That's the beginning of Holy Week for the Christian faith. Last year, the pandemic forced people to celebrate virtually to mitigate spread of the coronavirus. But as Chris Hoffman reports, this year looked a lot like years past.
- Sunday provided some normal for Christians in the Pittsburgh area.
DAVID ZUBIK: You can feel the spring that's happening in nature. It's a spring that's happening with our faith.
- On this beginning of Holy Week for Christians, congregations gathered to celebrate their faith in person.
- Sanctify these branches with your blessing.
- At this time, last year, doors were locked and closed. And congregations were not able to gather.
- For me, it was the most painful thing that I've ever had to do.
- It was reeling for all of us.
- And even this year, not everything is back to normal. Church leaders have congregations still socially distant in pews and wearing masks inside.
BRIAN EVANS: I think we all just appreciate the ability to be together again.
- The message that I'd like to share with an awful lot of folks is we've missed you.
- But not every church is back in person either. Emmanuel Baptist Church in Rankin is still virtual. This is their second consecutive Holy Week of staying home.
- It's been very, very different.
- They hope to return to in person this summer.
- We're not really rushing. We want to really try to create as safe a space for gathering as possible.
- And in this time of constant change, the Faith's message stays the same.
- The church's ministry goes on no matter what. The word we proclaim, we find some way to do it. God finds a way.
- For more information on how some congregations are celebrating Holy Week and their safety measures, visit our website and app. Chris Hoffman, KDKA News.