PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After two remote Easters, churches hit hard by Covid looked forward to in-person resurrection services on Sunday. Many returned to an in-person resurrection service at The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Overbrook.

Parishioners like Jerry Tucker looked forward to the service.

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“It’s such a glorious thing, to be able to gather and worship with each other on the most highest of Christian days, Easter,” Tucker said.

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“This is just such a marvelous day, the sun is shining brightly, it’s just such a glorious beautiful day,” Monica Lewis Jones said.  

“Very good and very important to worship in person,” Gloria Sedzifa said. 

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Sedzifa: It’s been so chaotic because of Covid. 

The congregation gathered inside the first Black Episcopal Church in the nation and the oldest in Philadelphia to listen to the message of Father Martini Shaw, who says they are looking forward to a great turnout.

“For the Episcopal church, it’s very important,” Shaw said. “One of the sacraments of the church, of course, is holy communion and we offer that sacrament to parishioners every Sunday.”

While members of the church will remain masked, that will not stop them from singing and enjoying the message, “Christ has risen.”

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“To come together today to celebrate is an indication of God’s power, God’s grace, God’s mercy,” Shaw said.  

Wakisha Bailey