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At solemn time, local religious leaders adapt to challenges

"We’re not able to physically be together so we’re finding ways to gather virtually, using technology."

CROMWELL, Conn. — This week is Holy Week, and for Christians who observe its this year will be very different. Due to social distancing rules, churches have had to adapt to different ways of celebrating Mass.

“We’re not able to physically be together so we’re finding ways to gather virtually, using technology, so we have been for the past several weeks now live streaming our worship service,” said Pastor Paul Krampitz of Bethany Lutheran Church in Cromwell.

It’s one of many churches of all denominations around the state that has been doing virtual services.

During Holy Week however, the difference is even more evident for those who may have never missed a Good Friday or Easter Sunday in church.

“We’re encouraging people to maybe start some new traditions in their own homes and to celebrate in their own way,” said Pastor Paul.

The Archdiocese of Hartford posts it’s services online, and you can also watch them on FOX61 and our sister station CW20. It’s also doing something extra to keep parishioners as part of the church community during this time. People have been sending in their pictures to be placed in seats while priests continue to celebrate Mass.

“A virtual congregation,” said Father John Gatzak, “The faces here, they say so much about how we’re in this together,” he said.

“It will be a graphic reminder to me and to all the other priests who celebrate mass that we are praying for you, that we’re not really alone,” he said.

Religious leader say it’s that same message of unity that will help everyone get through this.

“The coronavirus isolates us physically but it does not isolate us spiritually from Jesus or from one another,” said Archbishop Leonard Blair.