Worship Continues Online for Holy Week and Easter

Third wave of pandemic keeps lockdown measures in place

Posted March 22, 2021

With the declaration of the provincial COVID-19 Science Advisory Table that Ontario is now in the midst of a third wave of the pandemic, in-person public worship remains suspended for all parishes of the diocese.

"We certainly cannot journey from our homes today – not even to our local parishes – the human cost is simply too high, and our love of neighbour is simply too great," said Bishop Susan Bell.

The Bishop is encouraging clergy and parishes to make plans for Holy Week and Easter in the spirit of sacred simplicity and to heed the advice of Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, by aiming for the fewest interactions, with the fewest number of people, for the shortest time, at the greatest distance possible.

Parishioners are invited to visit the diocesan Facebook Page and/or YouTube channel for worship, if online parish services are not available. Diocesan services will be led by the Bishop and Dean from our cathedral, livestreamed on Facebook as follows:  Palm Sunday at 10am, Maundy Thursday at 6pm, Good Friday at 10am, and Easter at 10am. 

The advisory table's latest modeling forecasts as many as 6,000 cases across the province by Easter in their medium-spread scenario. The growth in cases is being fueled by the more contagious and more deadly variants of concern which continue to spread across Ontario and are now the dominant strain in circulation. 

In an email indicating diocesan leaders are closely monitoring the situation, Archdeacon Bill Mous offered gratitude to the leadership of the clergy and lay workers "for encouraging vigilance with respect to pandemic protocols, in supporting local vaccination campaigns, and in offering steadfast care through it all."