A virtual Easter Sunday? Coronavirus changes church traditions

Like many local churches St. Henery's Catholic Church will be celebrating Holy Week and Easter Sunday from a distance this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (RosaLin Alcser/Focus)

At a time of the year when many Christians gather to celebrate Eastertide, Minnesota's stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way churches hold their worship services.

That's especially true during Holy Week, April 5-11, leading to a very different Easter Sunday, April 12. Many local churches have opted to go virtual during Minnesota's stay-at-home period until they can return to normal worship practices.

The Easter Sunday message and worship at CrossPoint Alliance Church, Perham, will be prerecorded and posted on the church website, , its YouTube Channel and Facebook page , the Rev. Micheal Bochman said. A Facebook Live video stream will be at 10 a.m. Easter Sunday.

Northwoods Life Church's Easter Sunday services that will be streamed online , the Rev. Jason Erickson said. Good Friday service also will be streamed online; the time will be posted on , Erickson said.

The United Methodist Church in Perham will not be holding Palm Sunday service as for Easter and the rest of Holy Week the church will be waiting to see what happens with the virus, church office manager Joan Galbrecht said.


Public Masses at St. Henry's Catholic Church and all Catholic churches in the Saint Cloud Diocese have been suspended until Monday, April 13, the Rev. Matthew Kuhn said. A recorded Mass will be broadcast at 8 a.m. on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday on Lakes 99.5 FM or it can be watched on cableTV at EWTN or , Kuhn said. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday will be livestreamed on the church's website, , Facebook page , and YouTube Channel . The times for these Holy Week services have not yet been set and more information will be available on the church's website, Kuhn said.

St. Lawrence Church, Rush Lake, will not be conducting Holy Week services in person or online this year, Sandi Kollar, Parish secretary, said to a Focus sales representative in an email on Thursday, April 2.

New Creation Lutheran LCMC will remain open, but in an effort to limit social gatherings, services will be remote of the time being, the Rev. Randy Freud said. Sunday and Wednesday services will be online at, Freund said. The community meal on Wednesday evening will still be available through a grab-and-go system.

The United Methodist Church, Ottertail and Richville: Maundy Thursday, April 9, service will be streamed at 5 p.m. from Ottertail United Methodist Church, and Good Friday service will be streamed at 5 p.m. from Richville United Methodist Church. The service will be available to be on the Ottertail United Methodist Church's Facebook page and Richville United Methodish's Facebook group, the Rev. Ricardo Alcoser said. The services will also be posted to the pastor's YouTube Channel .

Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday service will be streamed from Ottertail United Methodist starting at 8:45 a.m. and from Richville at 10:30 a.m., Rosalie Alcoser said. The church will be open for attendance on Easter Sunday only if the state's stay-at-home order is lifted at the end of Friday, April 10. If so, those in attendance will be asked to practice social distancing.

Editor's note: Rosalie and Ricardo Alcoser are the parents of Focus reporter RosaLin Alcoser.

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