PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Easter Sunday services will be conducted differently this year all over the world. The coronavirus has prompted religious leaders to reconsider in-person services, in an effort to keep their parishioners healthy.
Inside the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peters and Paul in Center City, pews will be empty as the mass is streamed online. But church leaders will still be delivering the message of hope this holiday.READ MORE: Car Crashes Into Storefront In Philadelphia's Oxford Circle Neighborhood
Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ — a symbol of hope for many Christians.
Archbishop Nelson Perez says that symbol could not have come at a better time.
“While its certainly a different holy week, its still holy non-the-less,” Archbishop Perez said. “What makes it holy is the powerful story that gets retold and re-lived as we once again reflect on the death and the riding of Christ.”READ MORE: Man Killed, 16-Year-Old Student Shot In Head After Fight Near Lincoln High School, Philadelphia Police Say
Thousands of worshipers are expected to watch the church services online.
Certainly it’s an Easter weekend unlike anything worshipers who normally pack the Cathedral have seen before.
Even though people cannot gather due to COVID-19, Archbishop Perez is hoping to uplift parishioners during this difficult time and offer some sense of togetherness virtually.MORE NEWS: SEPTA Riders Held Up Phones As Woman Was Raped On El Train In Upper Darby, Authorities Say
Online services at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul begin at 11 a.m.