Despite the shackles of social distancing rules that are denying the community attendance to churches and places of worship this Easter, Australian Christian leaders and the country’s prime minister have delivered messages of hope and the resources to pray from home amid the CCP virus pandemic.
On April 9, Prime Minister Scott Morrison released an Easter message (pdf) in which he shared that Easter is a time of reflection and renewal. He also took the opportunity to remind the Christian community to stay home over the long-weekend holiday period.
“Though we are separate from one another, faith teaches us we can be together in spirit, even if we are physically apart,” he said.
Morrison called the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus pandemic, commonly known as the novel coronavirus pandemic, a once in one hundred year event.
“At a time like this, when so much is being asked of us, the story of Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection serves as a source of strength and hope,” he said.
Praying at Home
The Catholic church has used Facebook to distribute resources to the community (pdf) about how to pray at home across the Easter period and beyond. It encouraged parishioners to pray together, at the same time they would normally attend mass.
Australia’s free-to-air network Channel 7 said it will air a live broadcast of Easter masses on Good Friday at 3 p.m., and Easter Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation will broadcast coverage of the Pope’s Easter vigil.
In an April 7 newsletter, the Lutheran Church of Australia asked for the holy week—amid the infection, disease, social isolation, and its various impacts—”Can we take time to sit with the Bible texts a little longer than usual? Will we allow God to speak to us in these days?”
Lutheran services in South Australia and Victoria will be broadcasting Easter Sunday services live on free-to-air television channels on April 12. They have also provided the community with downloadable daily devotions for the Holy season.
On April 9, the National Council of Churches in Australia released a music video with an Easter message.
“Now is the time to be loved, and to give love … to all,” Bishop Huggins said in a statement.
Easter consists of three days and is marked by services on Monday, Thursday, Good Friday, closing on Easter Sunday.
Easter recalls the passion—the final period of Jesus’ life— which includes his crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection, as taught in the Bible.