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News / E-Easter, Virtual Vaisakhi and Passover during a Pandemic

E-Easter, Virtual Vaisakhi and Passover during a Pandemic

News / Blog

Siobhán Anderson

16 / 04 / 20

Our Movement Building volunteer Nicholas Mcdonald reflects on some of the responses by faith communities to the lockdown of COVID-19.

This year, April and May present some of the biggest events in many religious calendars. Just this weekend, we saw the celebrations of Passover, Easter, and Vaisakhi across the globe. However, current events have made what should be a time for friends, family and faith very challenging. As the COVID-19 pandemic carries on impacting the country with lockdown and self-isolation guidelines enforced, communities and places of worship have not been able to celebrate the way they normally would.  

This has not deterred local communities from enjoying these festivals however, and they have adapted to the current climate by moving online. This has allowed congregations to take part in religious services, and for families to share faith events together, despite not being in the same building.

Faith groups have not only been celebrating festivals in new ways, but many have helped step up to the challenges of assisting their local communities. Many groups have organised online counselling, food banks and care packages for vulnerable people, and helping them to keep safe.

Spending these holidays away from friends and family is difficult, but it is heart-warming to see that, despite these trying times, faith and belief groups continue to stay connected 

Below are some wonderful examples of different religious organisations reaching out to support their local communities during this time of crisis:

 

The Kashrut Division of the London Beth Din allowed some products not certified kosher for Passover due to shortages and issues caused by the pandemic.

 

Sikh devotees of Neasden Temple joined Vaisakhi celebrations by donating traditional Indian sweets to SGSS Southall for their food boxes being delivered to the needy during lockdown. 

 

During the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi, Langar was prepared for those in need by staff at Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick, the largest Gurdwara in Europe.

 

The Church of England’s Easter Sunday service was delivered by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, from the unusual setting of his own kitchen.

 

 

Jewish caterers in Prestwich preparing Passover meals for elderly people who cannot have Seder with their families.

 

Although the Islamic holy month of Ramadan does not begin till 23rd April, The Ramadan Tent Project will be hosting Zoom-based Iftah meals.

 

Do you have any stories to share? Please let us know!

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