Archbishop Gregory Aymond blessed New Orleans by air for Good Friday

Virtual Easter Services

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Archbishop Gregory Aymond blessed New Orleans by air Friday morning as he continues his own fight against COVID-19.

"The trip was to pray, and to be able to pray over the city and to ask god's protection, to ask God's healing for those who are ill, and also ask god to give rest to those who have gone before us," Aymond said.

Aymond said he especially prayed for essential workers.

"I prayed in a special way while I was asking God's blessings, I prayed in a special way for the health care professionals, for the first responders, for our government leaders who really are on the front lines, and they're risking their lives. So we're very grateful to them," Aymond said.

He, along with local pastors say Good Friday and Easter Sunday will be celebrated differently this year.

"I will be at the cathedral at 3 o'clock, and it will be an empty cathedral. Nonetheless, in spirit, many many people will be there," Aymond said

"Today is Good Friday, and we would normally have our Passion live. At our east location, we actually put people on the crosses, re-enact the whole crucifixion, but we're doing that virtual," Pastor Antoine Barriere of Household of Faith said.

Despite the different use of medium, the message remains the same.

"He will say to us, I know there's darkness, but I come to bring light into that darkness. That's the message I hope people hear on Easter Sunday," Aymond said.

Some local pastors say they've found creative ways to take their sermons online, so everyone can stay connected to their faith.

"This is all new to us. We're working, it's lots of work, so everyone's doing double duty. My son is a DJ, my daughter is in Film Major, so she's working that side," Barriere said.

"It is different though, putting the video together for worship service, and you're used to seeing people out in the congregation, and instead you see two people. So it definitely does take a little bit of the spirit out of it," Reverend David Watson, of Metairie Ridge Presbyterian Church said.

Although parishioners can't congregate, some say, they feel even more connected through the virtual services.

“We’re more engaged, because in a sanctuary, I may sit on the left side, someone may sit on the right side, but in this particular aspect, we’re engaging with everyone,” Erica Boseman said.

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