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Churches host scaled back, in-person Easter services

Churches were permitted to have in-person services at 25% capacity after San Diego moved to the red tier. Last year, churches were closed for Easter.

SAN DIEGO — Churches welcomed parishioners back for Easter Sunday services, although many had fewer masses or services than a typical Easter. Last year, in-person services were canceled because of early pandemic restrictions.

“It’s glorious, especially on Easter Sunday. I feel elated and it’s necessary for my spirit and soul and I’m really delighted,” said Angela Lynn Arden.

She had been attending St. Joseph’s Cathedral and other churches virtually during the pandemic. Sunday marked her return to in-person services.

“I wanted to wait until the tier got to red for myself, personally. I think it’s wonderful they’re doing this,” said Arden.

San Diego County moved to the red tier on March 16. This allowed churches and other places of worship to hold indoor services at 25% capacity.

Some churches are still holding services outdoors, like Rock Church at Liberty Station.

“Last year we did church at home. This is totally different to have thousands outside. It’s still different than before, being in the building, but this is beautiful,” said Brandon Harrison, an Associate Campus Pastor with Rock Church.

Unlike in years past, the Rock had only one in-person service for Easter, but it streamed multiple services throughout the day.

Services at Rock Church are scheduled to move indoors on April 18.

“I’ve learned this past year we need people. We need each other so much so to get connected with,” said Harrison. “It says we’re in the right direction and there is hope. The biggest thing I’ve seen is people are looking for a community to gather together and worship God and this season has been great.”

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