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Local churches expecting large crowds on Easter

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Posted at 4:32 PM, Apr 15, 2022

As Easter approaches, for some, this will be the first in-person service they’ve attended in a few years.

Nativity of Our Lady in San Luis Obispo says last year, they actually had more people than they saw during Easters in years prior due to their outdoor pavilion.

"I think probably our numbers were really even larger than they've ever been,” said Father Matt Pennington of Nativity of Our Lady Catholic Church. “Easter is always a day where the church is fairly full with people. They want to come and celebrate the resurrection."

Last year, the church hosted Easter outside and at St. Louis de Montfort Parish in Santa Maria, they taped off every other bench for social distancing.

Many churches are expecting even larger crowds this year.

"Our numbers have been going up Sunday after Sunday, which is very encouraging. Not quite back at the same numbers. We still have our live stream service and we do have about 100 people to still join in with every mass on Sundays on livestream,” said Father Aidan Peter Rossiter of St. Louis de Montfort.

Both churches are still taking precautions.

“People can wear their masks if they wish to and certainly, when it comes to the pastors and the eucharistic ministers distributing holy communion, we still wash our hands with an antiseptic and we also wear masks when we're distributing communion, so that we're showing respect to those who are coming up,” Father Rossiter said.

"So basically, what's going to happen this year is we're going to be inside for the majority of our celebrations, will be inside for Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the eve of Easter. but Easter Sunday at the 11:00 mass, will be back in our outdoor pavilion," said Father Pennington.

At Nativity of Our Lady, people can also drive up and listen in their car and receive communion there as well.

"What's interesting about this particular year is that there is a sense that people are beginning to emerge from this time of isolation and darkness and fear and that's what Easter and the resurrection are all about. It's about rising up from that which we're afraid of," said Father Pennington.