Churches gear up for outdoor Easter Sunday, expect large crowds

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Churches are finding ways to welcome people back to church this Easter. This pandemic has made it difficult for church-goers to gather and feel a sense of community. But now that restrictions are loosening, this year’s Easter can look a little more normal than last Spring. Parishioners now find their connection to God under the shade of the trees.

“Everything outside is starting to blossom, the trees are turning green,” said Deacon David Rodriguez, from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church. “There’s flowers everywhere.”

Although it’s unorthodox, it’s closer to normal than last year’s modifications, when services had to be livestreamed.

“It makes a difference when you’re not just sitting at home watching over a screen but together with your brothers and sisters, the body of Christ, praising God together as one community,” said Father Michael Andrade, Minister at St. Philip the Apostle Church.

Many local churches already moved their Sunday services outdoors. And Easter mass wont look any different.

“Nothing will be inside due to the anticipation of a large crowd,” said Deacon Rodriguez.

At St. Elizabeth’s and St. Philip’s Church, no reservations are necessary. You just need to wear a mask and bring your own chair.

“To see each other, to pray together, that’s foundational for us as Catholics,” said Father Andrade. “And that’s why we’re so happy this year even though it’s not perfectly ideal, it’s so much better than where we were and we’re so grateful to God for this blessing.”

So much has changed this past year, but some things stay the same.

“It’s very joyful to see families coming back in together and seeing old faces,” said Deacon Rodriguez. “The friendship picks up right where we left off.”

These churches will also livestream their Easter Services for those who still want to stay home.

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