Church fills empty pews with photos of parishioners during COVID-19 crisis

SEWELL, N.J. -- Many families are gradually learning to turn their living rooms into an altar upon which to watch religious services.

Parishes across the country have used social media to livestream masses directly to homes in their communities. While this appears to be the only safe option, some churchgoers are still left spiritually hungry for more.

Some churches are even going a step further to make their community feel connected. One example is how The Church of the Holy Family in Washington Township asked its parishioners to send in photographs. They printed and pasted dozens of family photos along the empty pews within the church. Some families even symbolically claimed "their seat," which they miss returning to each week.

In addition to adorning the pristine wooden rows of the church, family photographs flipped along in a slideshow presentation alongside today's livestream mass. Commenters remarked on how it was nice to see familiar faces, even in a digital space.

Holy Family Pastor Father John Picinic continues to urge the community to stay positive.

"For at least today, put away all fear," he said on Easter Sunday, the most holy day of Christianity.

Although he will continue preaching to an empty church for quite some time, he now has many familiar faces smiling back at him.

RELATED: Delicious Easter traditions carry on despite COVID-19 quarantine

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"Our family is very rooted in connecting food with celebrations," said a mother who won't let COVID-19 stop their Easter traditions. Community Journalist Matteo reports.