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Church safely observes Good Friday

Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 9:32 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - After enduring a pandemic for the last calendar year, many people were grateful to get together for Good Friday.

“We’ve been cooped up so long and just to be able to get out together is really important I think for everybody’s piece of mind, and just makes you feel better inside to be able to do that,” said Marcy Santin.

St. Mary’s Cathedral in Grand Island was packed with people.

“It’s certainly observing the fact that he suffered and died for us but with faith celebrating that brings us hope and our salvation, so it’s one of the greatest celebrations of the year,” said Catholic Diocese of Grand Island Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt.

They held two in-person services, one in English and also in Spanish.

“These services, especially after last year where I was in front of simply four cameras and myself to an empty church,” Bishop Hanefeldt said.

The church plans to incorporate virtual services even after the pandemic. However, they are not a virtual church and believes in-person worship is essential.

“It adds to the sense of community when you actually have a community in front of you, for my sake, but also for the people who weren’t able to be here last year,” Hanefeldt said. “It’s a wonderful thing to be able to gather.”

Marcy Santin came all the way from Palmer to attend the mass.

“I really enjoy being with the congregation more, so sitting home in front of my computer and watching it on the screen, it’s just more personable and you have more of an uplifting feeling being here,” she told Local4 News.

The church has been doing in-person services since May of last year. They have followed restrictions and safety guidelines throughout.

“We won’t be touching the cross in our veneration today,” Hanefeldt said. ‘The tradition is to kiss the cross, that people would be invited to drawn near to it and either bow or generally reflect on their need.”

The church has observances planned for the rest of the weekend. On Saturday, they will have an Easter vigil at 8:30 p.m. and then on Sunday they will continue with their regularly scheduled services.

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