Easter celebrations will look different for many Auburn students this year as churches in Auburn and around the state are preparing to host their Easter sermons online.
Emri Nikolai, sophomore in psychology, attends Auburn Community Church. While she is in quarantine in Canton, Georgia, she said she plans to watch the online ACC Easter service.
“I am bummed because Easter is one of the only times that my family would go to church together,” Nikolai said. “I haven’t really talked with my parents about what we are all doing, but I know that me and my sister will be sitting down to watch the ACC service online.”
Her family will also be using Easter Sunday as a day of rest away from their busy schedules of work and classes, Nikolai said.
“We are going to have a day of family time after we watch the service," she said. "We will probably cook something at home and spend the day together. We are usually so busy with work, so Easter will be a good day to calm down and reflect on the Lord."
William McLaughlin, sophomore in molecular biology, is Catholic and said he plans to watch his church service online as well.
“The bishop in Birmingham has cancelled all mass in Alabama, so we have just been watching our local preacher each week,” McLaughlin said. “It’s been weird because we don’t do the normal kneeling and praying.”
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McLaughlin and his family are from Guntersville, Alabama. He said they have been watching the priest from their home church since coronavirus made most services move to online only. One tradition that the McLaughlin family can continue this year, however, is their annual Easter Olympics.
“We hang out in our yard and play Easter games, and the winner gets the bragging rights for next year,” he said. “I would have come home for Easter anyways, but this year it’s different. Last year, it was so special to come home specifically to celebrate Easter, but this year I’ve been working and doing school from home for so long already. It’s just different.”
Nic Rios, sophomore in aerospace engineering, said he will continue a family tradition through Facetime to protect his family members from the virus.
“We have an Easter tradition where everyone in my extended family makes their own dish potluck style," Rios said. "This year, we are all still going to make our own dishes, but we are going to FaceTime everyone so we can still be together."
He and his family will be watching the Easter church service online, Rios said.
Sydney Held is on staff at First Baptist Church of Opelika College Ministry. She said that while things are different physically this year, the meaning of Easter is very much the same.
“Yes, things are so different this year, and I wish we had the ability to meet with students in person this Sunday," Held said. "It’s different from normal because we typically celebrate the resurrection all together, worshipping through song and through teaching and all sharing a meal together after."
Held said that FBCO students have been using Zoom during the livestream services to stay in touch with each other.
While many things are different this year, the most important aspect of Easter hasn’t changed at all, Held said.
“At the same time, celebrating Jesus as the risen King hasn’t changed at all," she said. "We’ll still be celebrating Christ defeating sin and death and giving us the only way to have a right relationship with God. So really, not much physically looks the same this year, but what’s most important about us celebrating Easter hasn’t changed."
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