From no service to low attendance, for the first time in two years, due to the coronavirus pandemic that was first reported in March 2020, just ahead of Easter, thousands of Christians around the country are today celebrating Easter Sunday in physical gatherings in their respective houses of worship.
Given Easter ceremonies and in-person church attendance were cancelled in 2020 as Kenya went into its first lockdown, many Christians say they’re glad to be able to celebrate together as the body of Christ in their places of worship this year.
“It’s important to meet even if we have to wear masks and keep our distance from each other,” one church-goer told familynews.today. “Watching the Mass on TV is not the same.”
The feast of Easter is the most important event on the Christian calendar, it celebrates the Resurrection of Christ, his victory over death which is the central element of the Christian faith.
The last two celebrations, Churches were able to adjust the mode of their services with some clergy preaching to cameras in empty churches as their congregation watch services online.
“No doubt that the closing of Churches during the period of lockdown provided congregational decline.” One Pastor noted.
While most pandemic restrictions have been lifted, some faithful still feel connected by following the online services. Peninah Wangui, a mother of two says she will not be resuming to the physical church anytime soon, “I have not resumed the in-person attendance, because I realized just how much I am blessed even when watching our services online at the comfort of my home. I get to participate in giving, virtual communion, and prayers.” She said.
For many, Easter Sunday marks a return to in-person worship.
“The gift of being in the same physical space for the first time in two years is so grounding and beautiful, we do not take it for granted.” Makori Martin, Redeemed Christian Church, Nairobi.
Mask requirements may be a thing of the past for now in public, but some houses of worship, still strongly encourage its members of the congregation to wear a mask, still take temperatures of people who come in, along with hand sanitizing stations spread out throughout the church entry and exits points.
A quick spot-check online, revealed that most churches in Nairobi, apart from gathering in-person, continues to offer their services to be broadcast via social media and local TV that has been successful in attracting people from other communities within and beyond our borders.