Student faith organizations at Harvard University will be celebrating Easter Sunday and Passover on video conferences and live-streams this year as a result of the ongoing Chinese virus pandemic.
According to a report by the Crimson, faith organizations at Harvard University are devising creative ways of carrying out their religious celebrations. Both Christian and Jewish student groups have organized virtual replacements to the ceremonies that were scheduled to take place on campus.
Harvard’s Memorial Church offered a virtual service on Thursday to celebrate Maundy Thursday. The church’s interim minister, Stephanie A. Paulsell, has been offering virtual sermons since the pandemic shut down the campus in March.
“We ask everybody to just bring some food and drink, bread and wine, or crackers or juice, or whatever people have on hand,” Paulsell told students. “It’s a way of trying to have that ritual together. It’s helpful to be able to see somebody lift up the bread and then lift up the cup and say the prayers.”
Similarly, Reverend William T. Kelly, a Catholic chaplain at Harvard, announced this week that he would livestream all of his Easter masses. However, Rabbi Hirschy Zarchi, the founder and leader of Harvard Chabad, told students that he would celebrating the Passover Seder with his immediate family.
“The Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Chassidic movement, taught that a person is found where their thoughts are,” Zarchi told students. “As we welcome in the awesome holiday of our redemption – amidst this very difficult time of Coronavirus — we will be thinking intensely of all in the Harvard Chabad family.”
“For the students that stayed in Cambridge and are away from their families for the Passover holiday, we helped many secure Seder provisions, including Shmura Matzah – referred to in the Kabbalah as the Bread of Faith and Healing,” Zarchi added.
Rabbi Jonah C. Steinberg, the executive director of Harvard Hillel, did offer students the opportunity to participate in an online Passover Seder. Over 170 students registered to attend Steinberg’s virtual Passover celebration.
Prager University announced this week that Dennis Prager would hold a virtual Passover Seder from his home. The Prager University website lists the standard Passover accoutrements that are used during the Seder dinner so that viewers can follow along from their own home.
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more campus updates.