Screenshot of livestreamed Mass from Catholic Diocese of Spokane

Giving up more for Lent this season: Lent and the Coronavirus

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By Emma Craven

When. Gov. Jay Inslee announced COVID-19 restrictions, congregations were forced to change how they worship together. With many churches in Spokane transitioning to having Mass or services online, this means that Lent is also transitioning.

The Catholic Diocese of Spokane is guiding parishioners toward CatholicTV, which has daily Mass during Lent. This allows everyone to participate in Lenten Mass from home in order to practice social distancing and to keep themselves and others safe and healthy.

St. Aloysius Church is also making the move to provide services online for people to view during Lent.

MaryKay Fairbanks, a member of the church, said, the church is live streaming everyday and recording daily Mass and posting them up online.

Fairbanks said that they, “are currently working on more ways to connect with people. St Aloysisus Church is also communicating via social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.”

Gretchen Rehberg, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane, said they are live streaming all Sunday services and, “making sure that there is one ‘official’ diocesan offering every week, and many of our congregations are also streaming their worship.”

Regarding Lent, Rehberg said, “Quarantine comes partly from the word for 40.  So, in many ways, we are inviting folks to think about how the work we are now called to can be a kind of Lent.”

Lent is a time of sacrifice and with social distancing, people are having to sacrifice time spent with others, she explained.

She added that people are having to, “Give up gathering together on Sunday for worship in person, and add joining together virtually, as well as increased life of worship and prayer at home. “

In regard to Lent, Rehberg said, “many of our normal Lenten programs are no longer meeting, and yet our congregations are also trying to provide those programs in different ways.”

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About Emma Craven

Emma Craven is an undergraduate student at Gonzaga University majoring in English and Psychology. She is originally from Leavenworth and currently lives in Spokane with her family. She grew up in a half Jewish and half Catholic household. She has a writing background in news writing, poetry, and fiction pieces. She has previously been published in two of Gonzaga’s writing journals. Outside of school and work, you can find her swimming, reading, spending time with family, or watching Grey's Anatomy.

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