There have been changes for some parishes, but not for others since Easter, 2020, it was learned this week by the Index, attempting to get a list of Easter Week and Easter Sunday services for the local churches.
There is a variety of different ways parish members can participate in Easter week or Sunday services to meet their religious needs.
Pastor Lynn Thiede of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church at 116 East Maxson Street in West Liberty, reports services have remained in the Zoom vitual content for her church, pointing out she’s as frustrated as anyone about having to follow social distancing, masking up and other rules brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic that started just over a year ago in mid-March.
Pastor of the parish for the past 15 years, Thiede said it’s not likely the church will reopen to live services until June or July, noting as more parishioners are vaccinated and “herd immunity” exists, the church will continue it’s present victual practices, providing services through their Facebook page, which she said actually “works pretty well.”
On Good Friday, the church will offer a 6:30 p.m. service and on Sunday, services will be live on line at 9:30 p.m. He said anyone having questions about getting the Zoom virtual services can contact the church at 319-325-8484.
But in the local Catholic churches, live in person masses are being held and have been since June 22 at the Church of St. Mary in Nichols, where Fr. Michael Spiekermeier has been conducting weekly services wlong with sister parishes he administrates like St, Mary Church in Lone Tree and St. Joseph Church in Hills.
Fr. Spiekermeier did say the church did not hand out palms as they normally would on Palm Sunday, March 28, and said although they do distribute communion, it’s accomplished with a lot of hand sanitizer and organization.
The 50 families of his Nichols parish have “assigned seats” and pews are staggered to keep social distancing while parishioners are all required to wear masks. He said a “cluster coordinator” helps assign members to their pews and there is no more holy water basins where people may dip their finger to give the sign of the cross.
The Nichols Catholic church will have Holy Week services starting on Thursday with the “Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper” beginning at 5 p.m. while St. Joseph in Hills offers at 7 p.m. service that evening.
On Good Friday, April 2, there will be no services at the Nichols parish, but there will be a 5 p.m. service of the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 5 p.m. at St. Mary Church in Lone Tree and at 7 p.m. at St. Joseph in Hills. An Easter Vigil mass, shortened to 40 minutes, will be held in Lone Tree at 8:15 p.m. as well as in Hills at the same time.
On Easter Sunday, the Resurrection of the Lord will be held in Nichols beginning at 8 a.m., Lone Tree at 9 a.m. and Hills at 10 a.m.
Other parishes reporting Easter Week and Easter Sunday services include:
¬– First Church United in West Liberty – Good Friday service on Zoom; Easter Sunday Sunrise Service at parishioner’s home (call Church for details) and 10 a.m. service in the church.
– West Liberty United Methodist Church – Holy Thursday and Good Friday services at ??? on Church’s you-tube channel; Easter Sunday 10 a.m. service in the church.
– Cedar Valley United Methodist Church in rural West Liberty – Easter Sunday, 10:30 a.m. service at the church.
Nichols United Methodist Church – live stream service from Cedar Valley at the Nichols Church at 10:30 a.m.
West Liberty Christian Fellowship Church ¬ Easter service at 10:30 a.m.
St. Joseph Catholic Church in West Liberty will have Easter masses as 9 a.m. and noon. Easter Virgil will be held Saturday at 8:15 p.m. and Good Thursday as well as Good Friday masses will be held at 7 p.m.
Atalissa Church of Christ, Zion Lutheran Church in Atalissa and Independent Pentocostal Christian Church in West Liberty did not respond to calls.