Religious leaders prepare for Easter/Passover services

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – After Easter services were canceled last spring due to COVID-19 concerns, Fr. David A. Hemann with Holy Cross Parish says things are finally looking up for his parishioners.

“We’ve anticipated people coming back Palm Sunday [and] all the way through Holy Week, so we’re making accommodations for that,” Fr. Hemann said.

Fr. Hemann says services will be held via livestream and in-person throughout the week with no registration required.

“At St. Michael’s, we just put up a 72-inch screen, big screen TV over there so that people can go over there if there’s overflow,” Fr. Hemann said.

In addition to wearing masks, and maintaining social distancing, some Holy Week traditions such as the Washing of Feet, and religious processions will be shortened or left out of the services. Congregations will also be split into groups for other ceremonies.

Across town at Congregation Beth Shalom, worshippers are preparing for a 100 percent virtual Passover experience.

“There is a concept in Judaism called pikuach nefesh, which means the preservation of life. So, even though rituals and holidays are so important, we would never put anyone in harm by coming to a service,” Rabbi Guy Greene said.

Rabbi Greene says the non-traditional format actually plays into the tradition of the Passover holiday.

“Jews, because they were dispersed throughout the centuries in different countries, we always felt we had to accommodate during oppression. We are very resilient, and we’re able to adapt,” Rabbi Greene said.

For more information on Holy Cross Parish online services, visit their website here.

To reserve a space for Beth Shalom’s Passover Zoom Seder, call 712-255-1990, or email jewfedsc@bethshalomsiouxcity.org. The Seder begins at 6:30pm Saturday, March 27th.

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