Church services around the Vancouver region and elsewhere are going to look different this year than they did last year. While many will still probably watch virtual celebrations for Easter from home, or take part in virtual church services, there have been some recent changes to gatherings.
Changes to B.C. Church Services Before Easter
We were told that a new normal might only be a few months away not long ago. But we are still encouraged to be patient from Canadian officials and B.C. officials as they are still concerned about variants and rising rates of hospitalizations.
If everything continues to go well though we could see that new normal emerge by summer they have suggested. That might be a little optimistic though because there are still many restrictions in place, cruises cancelled until next year, and the border closed for international travel for non-essential purposes.
Still, we are already underway with the B.C. reopening right now and it is expected that in the coming months that more changes might be announced to ease those pandemic restrictions that were put in place last year.
Things for Easter might be a little less busy this year. But the weather is getting warmer and with the changes to indoor services, as well as outdoor gatherings, that might mean more people feel comfortable with making changes.
After being in the house for months and not able to engage in-person with friends and extended family etc, now many might be looking during the Easter holiday to take that opportunity and engage in those faith services with one another.
Some say that the restrictions on church services have been unwarranted during this time, that they violate religious freedom, and that churches have been stereotyped during the pandemic. But a B.C. court recently ruled that those restrictions to in-person services are justified.
Last year many turned to online Easter events and faith services and again that will likely be a big trend this year but now there is the change as well to services in-person and outdoors. The in-person changes we can expect to only be temporary.
The pandemic brought a lot of stress and anxiety to many, uncertainty about the economy, jobs, politics, the future in general. Faith services can bring some peace during a very difficult time right now for so many.
While it is still possible to engage in that fellowship online, being apart from your community for more than a year and unable to make that personal human connection cannot be endured forever.
Churches are usually packed for Easter prior to COVID-19 and with the recent changes made for faith services for the upcoming Easter holiday we should expect that many will take advantage of that and look to get out.