Easter celebrations complicated, not curtailed, by COVID-19

  • Keiki run to grab their share of 8,000 plastic filled eggs at The Hub Church’s 2018 Egg Rush at Old Kona Airport Park. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Community members and visitors worship at the 2018 Community Sonrise Service at Old Kona Airport Park. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • The Kona Ministers’ Fellowship Pastors Band sing songs of praise at the 2018 Community Sonrise Service at Old Kona Airport Park. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

This is the time of year we usually attend Easter Egg hunts with the keiki, maybe attend church followed by a day at the beach or brunch at your favorite restaurant.

But there is nothing usual about this Easter.

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That doesn’t mean it’s going to be bad, just different.

Millions of faithful from around the world will be celebrating Easter online as stay at home orders prevent church gatherings for the holiest day in Christianity.

West Hawaii churches are following suit, most offering live streams of their Easter Services, and families are making the best of the stay at home order.

Pastor Tex Texeira of Solid Rock North said services will be on Facebook Live at 9am Easter Sunday on the Solid Rock North Facebook page.

“We will post on YouTube after for those who were not able to be there at 9am. We are online because we want to make sure all of our people are safe. Need to do our part to beat COVID-19,” said Texeira.

Kahu Kealoha Kaupua of Calvary Community Church has participated in the Kona Ministers’ Fellowship Easter Sonrise Service at Old Kona Airport Park for 20 years. This is the first time in the celebration’s 38 year history worshipers will not be able to gather as the sun rises over Hualalai for the multi-denominational service.

“We are all disappointed at the canceling of the community Sonrise Service at Makaeo on Sunday morning, but we rejoice that the tomb is still empty and the truth of the Resurrection of Jesus was not postponed or canceled,” said Kaupua. “This Resurrection Sunday morning at Calvary Community Church we get to cast a bigger net on the internet to let everyone know from our Facebook page that truly Christ is risen. He is risen indeed!”

Easter has been a day for large family gatherings for many, but this year sharing a meal may mean socializing with a video chat application.

Through an informal social media inquiry, many respondents said they will be enjoying the time with their family, dying eggs and holding their own backyard hunt.

Local restaurants are still offering takeout, with many offering delivery for those not inclined to cook this weekend.

“Although I’m living on Oahu, my BFFs (who still in Kona) and I are having “virtual lunch” together to celebrate food, folks &fun this Easter weekend,” said former Kona native Sandy Cameli. “We are all passionate educators who stay in touch to feed our souls.”

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“Sitting in a Mauka garden waiting for the sun to come. If the sun don’t come I’ll get my tan by sitting in the Mauka rain,” commented Bobby Command.

Whatever your plans are for the day, if you are a nonessential worker, stay home, stay safe and have a happy Easter!

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