Religious rituals go virtual amid coronavirus: baptisms, funerals and more

Get all the latest coronavirus news and more delivered to your inbox daily. Register here.

Major religions – Christianity, Judaism and Islam – adapt to virtual rituals as the coronavirus pandemic forces many to close places of worship to worshipers.

Although some practices have ceased, such as the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, religious leaders are finding creative ways to reach out, despite the president and CDC not urging any public gatherings of more than 10 people to stop the spread of COVID-19.

THE POPE ASKS CHRISTIANS TO RECITE THE LORD’S PRAYER DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

“We have received a lot of questions,” said Rob Volmer, a member of the Episcopal Church of Christ in Georgetown, where a pastor and several members have tested positive for the virus. PBS. ” What does it mean ? What does it look like ? Well, you know, we’re not the experts in this matter.

A church parishioner looks at a laptop inside the Liverpool Parish Church (Our Lady and St Nicholas) in Liverpool, England during the Church of England’s first virtual Sunday service given by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. (Peter Byrne / PA via AP)

Churches, synagogues and mosques have gone beyond providing online services to virtually hold religious rituals.

PRIEST SUGGESTS CONFESSIONALS TO DRIVE AMID CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC: “PEOPLE ARE SO THANKSGIVING”

At Dumbarton United Methodist Church in Georgetown, DC, last Sunday Owen Miller Quinn, son of Daniel and Alexa Miller Quinn, was baptized as dozens were celebrated at a Zoom conference, Patch.com reports.

Orthodox Rabbi Zarchi sent an email, offering the first 10 men to answer a place at a funeral. He was looking for a minyan, the number required for communal worship in Judaism, so that he could recite the mourning prayer, or kaddish.

Other rabbis have also embraced the technology further.

“We use Zoom, Google Hangouts, Facebook,” Rabbi Steve Leder, who runs one of the largest synagogues in Los Angeles, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Recount Forbes. “I’ve been involved in this kind of media before. But now this crisis has forced me to become much more comfortable and familiar with it… it is as if I have just discovered electricity.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE FAITH STORIES

He said some Jewish congregations were reluctant to go virtual with services and funerals.

“They have to get over it,” Leder said. “These are extraordinary times.”

When Catholic churches began to close in China and Hong Kong due to the virus, Pope Francis pointed to the Catholic Church’s use of spiritual communion, a way for people to celebrate the Holy Eucharist even though they were they are not able to receive it physically.

Deacon Claudio Moneta blesses the ashes of Filippo, 89, who died of natural causes on March 8, as two relatives follow the ceremony at the Bruzzano Chapel cemetery in Milan, Italy on Saturday March 21, 2020 (AP Photo / Luca Bruno)

Deacon Claudio Moneta blesses the ashes of Filippo, 89, who died of natural causes on March 8, as two relatives follow the ceremony at the Bruzzano Chapel cemetery in Milan, Italy on Saturday March 21, 2020 (AP Photo / Luca Bruno)

“My Jesus, I believe that you are really present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I love you above all and I desire you in my soul “, pray the Pope on behalf of others, Crux now reports. “Because at this moment I cannot receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As you have already come, I embrace you and unite with you. Do not allow me to ever be separated from you. . “

The Vatican Penitentiary, which deals with matters relating to conscience, on Friday released a list of special indulgences for COVID-19 patients, the medical staff caring for them, those quarantined and anyone else. who pray for them.

He clarified that confession cannot be done remotely, over the phone or over Skype, but the Pope said during a mass broadcast live Friday to go directly to God.

CLICK FOR FULL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

“It’s very clear: if you can’t find a priest to confess to, speak directly to God, your father, and tell him the truth,” Francis said. “Say, ‘Lord, I’ve done this, this, this. Forgive me and ask forgiveness with all your heart.

As Easter and Passover approaches, many are preparing for virtual services.

Ruth R. Culp