Religion in the Time of COVID

Anabelle Taylor, Journalist

    Religious practices that have been performed for hundreds of years- like the  Muslim pilgrimage to Urmah, have been postponed until further notice. The Catholic practice of intinction, where worshippers would dip consecrated bread into a communal chalice has been discontinued. In the Vatican, The Pope recently delivered the Angelus Prayer via video link.  Churches, mosques, synagogues, and other places of worship, have been taking precautions in light of the novel Corona Virus.

    Early in quarantine, many places of worship closed indefinitely. However when the public realized that quarantine would be a long-term situation, priests, imams, and rabbis started looking for safe alternatives. Their modifications varied greatly. At CdM, students of religion have shared their worship experience during quarantine.

    Ashley Riba, a sophomore, and a practicing Christian said, “When quarantine happened it was really hard for me because I could no longer see my life group.” The church she goes to did weekly services via Zoom and an extra service on Monday nights for chapel. Afterwards she met with her life group on Zoom. Ashley recalls, “Zoom calls were good, but not the same.” Fortunately, Mariners reopened in-person youth services in August. Ashley described the new church experience: “Of course we have been wearing masks and socially distancing, but it’s so much better than Zoom- because I can see my friends face-to-face.”

    Shea Tomac, a Jewish student at CdM, said, “I still go to temple, but at the moment the services are through Zoom.” As for Rosh Hashanah, and other upcoming key religious holidays, Shea said she will celebrate by attending Zoom temple services.

    Ryleigh Snow, another Christian Sophomore, is also attending church through quarantine. The church she goes to, Mariners Irvine, is allowing in-person services with masks and social distancing. Her prayer group will also be conducted face-to-face with masks and social distancing to keep safe.

    Religion has been a part of society for thousands of years through famine, war and disease. Although Covid has recently altered many conveniences and habits, such societal evolutions are not new for people of faith