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Some churches expecting bigger crowds this year

Coming together

The Rev. Dan Walsh is pictured outside Holy Trinity Church. Walsh said tickets for three services at the church have all filled up. OBSERVER Photo by Jo Ward

A variety of church services will be available this year for Easter.

Some churches will employ a ticket system to control attendees. Others are not expecting significant turnout and will open doors with welcome arms.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic will once again shape the way many area churches will hold worship services this year.

At St. John the Baptist Church in Dunkirk, Pastor Yvonne Fancher says the church will be open for normal services, but a mask will be required.

“We put out for an RSVP for people to let us know they are coming, but many have not responded,” Fancher said. “We don’t expect a large turnout, but do hope people will attend.”

Masks will of course be required and there will be no singing.

The Rev. Zoe Milliman of St. John’s United Church of Christ is expecting a small turnout Sunday.

“We’re expecting so few we canceled our Sunrise Service that we normally do,” Miliman said. “We will be having our morning service at 11 a.m. and all are welcome to attend.”

Like other churches, masks and social distancing will be required.

Fredonia First United Methodist, on the other hand, is completely full for service Sunday.

“By state mandate we’re allowed about 70-80 people and we’re totally full,” said Pastor Nettie Puleff. “People had to preregister on the website and did so.”

Like the others, masking and social distancing will be required.

The Rev. Dan Walsh of Holy Trinity also shared that their Easter Sunday service is all filled up.

“We have an eight o’clock Mass on Saturday night and then 8:30 and 11 a.m. Masses Sunday, and all the tickets are taken,” Walsh said. “We’re pretty well at capacity even on Sundays, it just sort of happened, but we’re grateful.”

Walsh shared a comparison concerning Easter, of Jesus being like a butterfly bursting from the cocoon, filled with beauty.

“It’s important that people remember the symbolism of Easter,” he said.

It may be best that if people wish to attend services Sunday they may want to call ahead to find out what their church is doing.

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