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Virtual Easter observances planned

Light candles tonight; ring church bells at noon Easter Sunday
Apr 11, 2020

In the absence of church gatherings, places of worship will use online video conferencing and replays to celebrate Easter this year.

The traditional Easter sunrise service at the Belfast Boathouse, sponsored every year by the Greater Bay Area Ministerium, will not be held, and all of the usual GBAM eumenical gatherings during Holy Week were canceled. Adas Yoshuron held a virtual Seder Thursday evening broadcast from the synagogue in Rockland.

But observations of different types continue.

On Holy Saturday, April 11, the Catholic Diocese of Portland invites everyone in  Maine to join in an act of solidarity with one another at 7:30 p.m., the hour of sunset, by standing outside their homes with a lit candle, flashlight, or other source of light. During the traditional Easter Vigil, they are asked to offer a silent prayer and reflection for those in the world who have died from COVID-19, for the consolation of their families, and for the healing of our world and an end to the crisis.

Following prayer and reflection, Easter Vigil Masses will be livestreamed from many Maine parishes at 8 p.m. (

On Easter Sunday, the diocese is encouraging all Catholic churches in Maine that have bells to ring them at noon, not only to celebrate Christ's victory over death and the promise of eternal life, but also to offer the community a shared experience after spending Holy Week apart. Other churches and denominations are encouraged to join in.

Many area churches are holding Easter services with Zoom video conferencing, live streaming them on Facebook, and/or recording services and posting them on FaceBook YouTube and their websites.

The First Church in Belfast, UCC, is having its services shown on the local access stations (Channel 1301 on Spectrum cable), BCTV in Belfast and SCTV in Searsport.

First Church Easter Sunday worship will be aired April 12, on BCTV at 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., and on SCTV at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Church services can all be seen by going to or First Church's Facebook page.

St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Belfast, is posting its services on the church's Facebook page and YouTube channel. On Easter Sunday, St. Margaret's will live stream the Easter Service from the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., at 11:15 a.m.

For Roman Catholic arrangements to view Holy Week services lives treamed and/or posted as videos afterward, the Portland diocese recommends checking (this webpage will be updated frequently as additional parishes submit schedules and when schedule changes are made).

Otherwise, church sanctuaries in general are closed. To be certain about your place of worship, it's best to check its website or Facebook page.


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