“We are back,” said one parish priest in response to the increase in the Easter service.
A priest with four churches in the parish told CathNews that all major services in prime time were complete.
“I always knew people would come back,” he said in an uplifted tone.
“I almost had to put up a sign, ‘There’s no room in the hotel,’ but now is not the time,” he said, smiling with delight.
A similar cheerful tone was reflected by CathNews parishes across the country. In one of them, the “crowd controller” in St. Anne Manureva, Auckland, estimated that the congregation numbered about 2,000 people, loading available seats inside the church.
The feeling was catchy.
In Johnsonville, Jigs (16) helped when a priest sprinkled water on an Easter congregation.
“The church has failed to cope with numbers; “People were pouring into the lobby, and we had ‘almost run out of holy water,'” Jigs told CathNews.
Gillian and Ewan said the Easter ceremonies lifted their spirits.
“People just kept coming; yet there is life. ”
“People have left their graves; it was an experience of the resurrection that took place before our eyes, ”Yuen said.
JL (18) sighed with relief, describing what he called “normality in two years”.
“It was much more vivid and wonderful to see the community come out and celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ,” he said.
“Community is more than our closed individual efforts.”
Judy described the ceremony as “Spring Autumn.”
Not for the televised Eucharist, she told CathNews that for her “the Church is to be together, not to watch others eat and drink.”
“The Eucharist is a community in action, not an event for the audience,” she said.
Judy says that she likes to go to Mass and considers herself “always”, but admitted that she is not the most organized and because of the booking system regularly missed.
“Whoever thought it would be two years, we would have to sign up for Mass!”
She said she probably prayed a little more in the time span than she once did, but didn’t think it was bad.
“But personal prayer is not a communal service. It’s different. “
“Optimism,” she said.
The tangible confidence of all these parishioners was thrown. It was real, and when some, for example, were sad to kiss the cross on Good Friday, while others regretted not having sung, everyone wanted to focus on the positive. Their Easter joy was overshadowed by sanity.
“Apart from the Resurrection, people also looked in the rearview mirror; the grave, ”Jane CathNews said.
“They showed their care and respect for each other by wearing masks and using hand sanitizers.
“It gave me more confidence that I was there,” she said.
The Easter positive also penetrated Australia, where more than 8,000 people passed through the doors of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne.
The Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Peter Commensoli described the reaction of the people as “humiliating after the density restrictions of COVID-19, and in recent years live broadcast has dominated the event.”
The Age reports that cathedral staff went a step beyond the norm and introduced hand sanitizers before receiving Holy Communion.
It’s not over
However, despite optimism, Dr. Dion O’Neill of New Zealand with Covid-19 Modeling Aotearoa warns that “it” is not over yet, and the next wave of Covid-19 could hit New Zealand as early as winter or spring.
He warns that the shape and timing of the next wave depend on a great deal of uncertainty – for example, on how quickly our innate immunity will weaken and whether our own behavior will increase proliferation.
Determining the importance of continuing to use masks, O’Neill says future waves should have lower peaks, but qualifies the comment by saying that lower peaks depend on people’s behavior.
He says a fourth vaccine for high-risk groups would be a good way to alleviate the burden of health with future waves.
O’Neill says: “Data on re-infections abroad suggest that infections are prevalent among unvaccinated people, especially in young children, who may be too young to be vaccinated and who are generally less vaccinated.”
He also doesn’t rule out another option that “changes the game”.
On April 13, New Zealand’s Covid Response Minister announced that at 11:59 p.m., the country would switch from red to orange traffic light setting.