For Christians across the United States, Easter services on Sunday will reflect an extra measure of joy as the nation experiences rising optimism after a year of pandemic. Even if still observing restrictions, many churches may draw the largest numbers of in-person worshippers in months.
It’s a season of major holy days for other faiths as well, occurring in a brighter mood than a year ago. Jews are observing Passover this week, and Muslims will enter the holy month of Ramadan in about two weeks.
In spring 2020, the 104-year-old widow of a former BU professor became one of Marsh Chapel’s first congregants to die from COVID-19. “We have not been able to gather” to memorialize her or others lost during the pandemic, as on-premises gathering remains suspended, Marsh Chapel Dean Robert Allan Hill laments one year later.
Out of grief and sheer frustration due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rev. Karie Charlton of Third Presbyterian Church in Shadyside admitted that she cried herself to sleep at several points throughout the past year.
In sharing her story of grief and vulnerability, Rev. Charlton said she hopes others may feel inspired to make themselves vulnerable to their loved ones as well during such a difficult time.
For nearly three decades, teaching yoga in Alabama’s public schools has been forbidden by the state’s school board.
One lawmaker, Jeremy Gray, has been trying to change that since 2019. He made progress on Thursday, when the state’s House of Representatives passed a bill that would override the ban. The bill, which was approved by a vote of 73 to 25, will soon be taken up by the Senate.
D. Anthony Alvarez ’21, a member of the Harvard Latter-day Saints Student Association, has attended religious services at the same congregation off campus since he arrived at Harvard as a freshman.
This semester, Alvarez said he still attends services at that same congregation. Amid Covid-19, though, he must sign up to attend ahead of time, don a mask, and eschew singing, which can spread infectious particles.
Biloxi Councilwoman Dixie Newman has stirred up a major debate on Facebook, where she posted about walking out on a Hindu prayer at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.
“Last night at the Biloxi City Council Meeting, they presented a HINDU Invocation,” she wrote Wednesday morning in the public post. “I had to walk out. You are more than welcome to believe and worship whom you please. But as for me, I will only stand, bow, or worship, Jesus Christ.”
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - In Roanoke County, folks are celebrating the festival of lights this weekend. It’s part of the Diwali holiday that is mainly observed by Hindus.
There was a little change to traditions at the Hindu BAPS temple this year because of COVID. Worshipers celebrating had to make an appointment and observe social distancing. The temple used floor markings and only allowed a few people at a time to offer blessings.