West Michigan Dioceses live streaming Holy Week

Virus Outbreak
Posted at 7:20 PM, Apr 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-04 19:20:11-04

WEST MICHIGAN — In compliance with the Stay Home, Stay Safe order, the Catholic Dioceses of Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo will be live streaming Holy Week and Easter beginning with Palm Sunday.

“If you have an internet connection, then you can participate in the mass,” says Victoria Cessna, Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs for the Dioceses of Kalamazoo. A strong internet connection is not something you would typically need to attend mass, but there is nothing typical about these times.

“This year is certainly different, [that’s] an understatement,” Cessna says. “I mean, it's a historical time where we won't have actual, you know, people in the pews.”

The COVID-19 pandemic caused places of worship across Michigan to close their doors, leaving the Church with one other option; live stream their Holy Week and Easter Liturgies.

“…We've had televised mass for the past three years,” Aaron Sanders told FOX 17. “We've also streamed on Facebook so having these options available during this time has been a valuable resource.”

Aaron sanders is the Director of the Office for Worship for the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids, he says while they have live streamed masses before, it's the emptiness throughout mass that's the biggest change.

“The main adjustment we've had to make is to the fact that our pastors and faithful aren't going to be able to be gathered together so these Liturgies we celebrate will not have a congregation outcome.”

Cessna says she's extremely proud of the priests that have adapted to the live streaming technology and stepped outside of their comfort zones.

“The celebration of the mass is a very sacred, intimate opportunity for them and this is a little bit out of their comfort zone but they're really helping people and their parishioners to stay connected.”

Both Dioceses are working to keep people connected, if not physically, then online and through their shared faith.

“We can't be together physically, and we can't fully substitute for that but at least we can join in spirit, on the lord's day to keep the day holy and watch and participate in mass from home as best as we're able.” Sanders explained

Bishop Walkowiak will lead Palm Sunday mass Sunday morning on FOX 17 at 10 a.m. It will be live stream on the diocese website and Facebook page.

Grand Rapids Diocese Schedule:
10 a.m. Sunday, April 5 – Live on FOX 17
7 p.m. Tuesday
7 p.m. Thursday
3 p.m. Good Friday – Live on FOX 17
9 p.m. Saturday
10 a.m. Easter Sunday – Live on FOX 17

The Diocese of Kalamazoo will stream all Holy Week Liturgies being led by Bishop Paul Bradley and can be viewed on its website and Facebook page.

Kalamazoo Diocese Schedule:
10 a.m. Sunday
11 a.m. Tuesday
7 p.m. Thursday
Good Friday:
- Noon: The Seven Last Words of Christ;
- 1 p.m.: Stations of the Cross;
- 1:30 p.m.: Solemn Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion
9 p.m. Saturday
10 a.m. Sunday
In addition, masses across West Michigan will also be streaming. A list of those services can be on their website.