Easter 2020 was a holiday consisting of full lockdowns across the world and limited trips made by the Easter bunny to the homes of families. Churches closed down and had to go online for their services. Transitioning into a new year, churches are now open, and lockdowns have lifted.
However, Auburn University students believe this upcoming Easter weekend will look different than last year.
Amanda Montgomery, junior majoring in social work from Mobile, Alabama, said she celebrates Easter with her family by waking up in the morning and going to Catholic mass.
“We usually have a big Easter egg hunt in my backyard afterward and a big Easter feast to celebrate the end of a 40 day fast,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery said Easter mass is different than normal Sunday mass.
“It is more elaborate and more of a big celebration," she said. "There are lots of bells, a ton of flowers and decorations, and all of the songs we sing are about rejoicing and glorifying Jesus."
In Catholicism, mass follows the same structure in each service. This includes having readings from the Bible and celebrating the Eucharist, which Catholics believe is the living body of Christ.
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“It is always an even more joyful experience on Easter mass because we get to really enter into a great intimate relationship with the risen Christ,” Montgomery said.
Last Easter, Montgomery said all in-person masses had to be canceled and her family had to watch mass online.
“We did not get to physically receive communion so it felt different and we did not get to be physically present with Christ, but we were spiritually united with him to celebrate,” she said.
This year Montgomery will be going home to spend Easter at the beach with her family and attend mass in-person.
Brittan Davis, junior majoring in nursing from Madison, Alabama, said she normally celebrates Easter by enjoying quality time with her family at her grandparent’s house.
Last year, Davis could not travel to her grandparent’s house because of COVID.
“This year we are able to get together again to celebrate,” she said.
Davis said she and her family will attend Easter mass and spend time in each other’s company for the weekend.
Abigail Harnden, junior in public relations from Satellite Beach, Florida, said she usually celebrates Easter by flying home for a long weekend and spending time with family and friends. Harnden was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school from the age of four until senior year of high school.
Harnden plans to meet her family in Destin where they are renting a cottage on the beach.
“Usually Easter morning my family and I wake up to Easter baskets from the Easter bunny, then we do an egg hunt together," she said. "Afterward, we get ready for Easter mass and take family photos on the dock."
Having faced the same situation as both Montgomery and Davis, Harnden said she looks forward to attending in-person mass this year.
There are a number of churches offering Easter services in the Auburn/Opelika area.
Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Parish has a service on April 3 at 8:00 p.m. for Easter Vigil and services on April 4 at 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Auburn Community Church will hold its Easter service at 10:00 a.m. on April 4 in the Auburn Arena.
Airview Baptist Church is holding its service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Auburn United Methodist Church will have Easter services on April 4 at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
In regards to upcoming Easter events, the Marriot Resort at Grand National will be holding an Easter egg decorating get-together.
The event will take place at the Southern Oak Café inside the hotel on March 27, 2021, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The cost per family is $30, which includes 12 Easter eggs and a variety of decorations, supplies and a basket.
People are also invited to join the Opelika Parks and Recreation in an Adult Easter Egg Hunt. The event is from March 29-April 2 from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. each day. The hunt can be done on any of the four days.
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