SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – One year has passed since churches were forced to shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, and families celebrating Easter Sunday told FOX40 they are able to attend services in person.
“More of a mental thing just being around people for me,” said Cathedral of the Blessed Sacramento attendee Antonio Maldonado. “I’m a big-time people person, I can actually like, feel like everything is slowly going back to normal. I can say that.”
Father Michael O’Reilly told FOX40 that many people were celebrating and watching mass virtually during Easter in 2020.
“It was a lot different last year. We had 10 people and closed doors, and everything was livestreamed,” O’Reilly recalled.
O’Reilly said the church seats about 1,200 people and they were able to allow about 220 people inside during Easter Mass.
California’s health order for counties in the red tier allows churches to operate indoors at a 25% capacity.
Clergy and parishioners say that even with the current restrictions, just seeing people inside the church is a welcomed change.
“It’s kind of, what it means to be human is to gather together, so I think we’ve been all feeling this through COVID how inhuman it’s kind of been,” O’Reilly said.
“Now that we get to come back, it’s so exciting. Like, now we’re like, OK now we appreciate it more, so much more,” said attendee Carmela Maldonado.
“It’s nice to be getting closer to what we’d like to be,” O’Reilly said.
Church officials told FOX40 they will be continuing their live stream even as restrictions ease because they have been getting a lot of positive feedback from the congregation about the change.