ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Passover will begin at sunset Wednesday and Easter will be celebrated this coming Sunday.
Members of both religions will be celebrating differently this year as the coronavirus outbreak requires people to stay home to maintain the general public's health. So instead of celebratory dinners at home and churches packed with members, everything is going digital.
“I know for my family we usually have on the first night up to 40 people around our table,” Rabbi Susan Talve said. “And tonight, it'll be my husband and myself, because we are sheltering in place.”
Talve, with Central Reform Congregation, will be turning to technology tonight to celebrate Passover with loved ones like millions of others around the country and the world.
Talve and her husband will still eat the traditional Passover Seder or ceremonial dinner. There are several sites online offering guidance on how to host a virtual Seder. Talve acknowledges it would be easy to find an excuse to not follow the traditions.
“There's plenty of excuses for that, but we're telling people we need Passover more than ever this year,” Talve said. “So we're giving people lots of opportunities and there are lots of opportunities that people are making available on the internet you can join in Seders.”
Talve said she is going to be connecting with family members in four time zones from New York to California. Talve’s 94-year-old father who otherwise will be alone will be joining them online.
Pastor David Hawkins from Living The Word Church says his church has been streaming services online for eight years now. The congregation has about 750 members but Hawkins says more than double that will log on for an online service this Easter. The church moved everything to digital early March.
“We're trying to make the experience a little more personal but yet we are navigating new terrain,” Hawkins said. “There's a different dynamic especially from my context you kind of really deal with and feed off the crowd, but you learn to adjust and so it has allowed me to be a little bit more concise.”
The Crossing Church headquartered in west St. Louis County has four different sites around St. Louis and not only are sermons delivered online but musicians spread out at various locations can still perform as one.
This is Hawkins’ message this coming Sunday:
God has not finished with us and that this season is certainly a dark season we are dealing with some new adjustments and some frightening news, but our hope is to push us past this mentally, so that we can begin to see how do we adjust to life and how do we complete the task that we were born, born for.