Philadelphia churches return to some sense of normalcy for Easter weekend

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- This Good Friday, some church parking lots in Philadelphia remained empty, but others saw pews of people observing at a safe distance.

Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church Reverend Doctor Alyn Waller has and will continue holding Holy Week services virtually.

"I'd like to think of it as a basketball game. We're in the third quarter and we're winning, but we still have to score some more baskets, score some more baskets and we're going to win this thing," Waller said.

While aware the Zoom fatigue may be at an all-time high, Rev. Waller remains an optimist.

"Because of Good Friday, even something like the virus does not have the last word on us," Waller added.

In North Philadelphia, Reverend Doctor Herb Lusk is also keeping things virtual. But he said he prefers face-to-face interactions, especially with those now fully vaccinated.

"These doors are open, we keep them open," Lusk said.

Greater Exodus Baptist Church has also helped test and vaccinate hundreds of its members, and will take extra measures to ensure those looking to worship stay safe.

"People are safe here, we've not had one case, not one case of spread," said Lusk.

At the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, parishioners are also being welcomed back, albeit at a distance.

Concerns of reaching capacity are minimal at this juncture.

"I wish that we were at that point where it would too many, but people aren't coming out yet in full force," said Rector Father Dennis Gill.

Outside of houses of worship, those who remember the year that wasn't are making up for lost time with treats from their favorite spots. Many lined up outside Denise's Bakery in North Philadelphia.

"Last year it was shock, it was uncharted ground, we were afraid. Now, it's eased up a little so now we can celebrate," said customer Cheryl Pitts.

Important to note that while some churches are holding services in person, they are all still requiring things like masks.

Those that cannot attend in person will also still have the option to steam services virtually.
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