SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Today is Good Friday, but people aren’t able to observe the day as they usually do.
Bishop Joseph Bambera, Diocese of Scranton, described messages from parishioners, “People will occasionally say to me in letters or emails ‘we so desperately miss the opportunity to be at mass, can’t you do something bishop.’
Mass is different now, canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact is being felt during Holy Week.
“It’s surreal to celebrate mass in a cathedral that seats 900 people, and to have it empty,” Bambera reflected.
But he says that yearning people to have to come together to observe the Holy Week and celebrate Easter means much more than it seems.
“Look at that very yearning and longing in our hearts, and to realize that that’s being generated by the power of God,” he added.
He says although people are stuck in their homes, he encourages people to pray and to build their faith upon that.
“I would just encourage our people to continue to live their faith. You know this year we won’t be blessing baskets but every family gathers on Easter Sunday and offers a prayer of blessing for the food. Make that more intentional this year,” Bambera said.
He advises worshipers to use the online opportunities available to come together. He says his own relatives tuned in to a mass he held on Palm Sunday.
“Relatives going online in 6 different states were watching mass in our cathedral. That’s less about me and much, much more about the depth of faith that’s in our people’s lives. A depth of faith that will carry our people through this very challenging time,” he added.
St. Peter’s Cathedral masses are broadcast on Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton, Monday through Friday.