Good Friday in the time of the coronavirus

2020-04-10 03:42:00 PM

Good Friday for the year 2020 will go down in history like no other.

But as the coronavirus lockdown period continues, families under lockdown will be attending church differently this Easter period, with scores of people expected to rather gather in front of their television or laptop screens for their yearly dose of crucifixion and resurrection sermons.

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This has become life for millions of South Africans as the country’s government tries to contain a potentially catastrophic virus which has already infected over a million and a half people and wiped out over 95,000 people worldwide.When the lockdown was announced two weeks ago, churches across the country quickly jumped on board and changed their weekly routines to accommodate the regulations. One of those churches was the Hope Restoration Ministries which has scores of branches and thousands of members across Gauteng.

The church had planned mass church services for most of the week, with congregants expected to gather at a stadium. But from Wednesday evening, the church’s members have been turning online twice a day for sermons.Hope Restoration MinistriesThe services, which were streamed by hundreds who at times turned to Facebook to leave their comments of amen and appreciation of the services, happened at the church’s almost empty Kempton Park building.  With no worshiping team or band members in the background, old tapes of worship were played before the pastors ascended to the pulpit to deliver their sermon.

On this Good Friday, the church requested its members to prepare their own holy communion to administer among their families in their homes.Meanwhile, in Witbank, with congregants unable to worship together as per normal, last week pastor of Gateway Church International, Stella Phetla, took to the church’s Facebook page to urge congregants to take this form of sermon just as seriously as any other.

She shared a post on how to attend church services online:Get out of bed and get dressed. This will put you in the right mind for worship.Go through your normal church day routine.Gather together as a family. There shouldn’t be multitasking as worship is a family activity.

Stream to your largest available screen in the house. It will make it seem like you are there.Sing along, loud and proud. It may feel weird but it also feels weird to the people leading worship in an empty room. Read more: Times LIVE »

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