(WXYZ) — The Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit is a special church for local Catholics, it's a place to gather, a place to worship.
And a place where the pinnacle event of Christianity, Easter, is celebrated every year.
"This is Holy Week for us. These are the most sacred days of our year, the most sacred days of remembering what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did for us," said Fr. Stephen Pullis, director of Evangelization and Missionary Discipleship for the Archdiocese of Detroit."The passion and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central aspect of Christianity."
So when the pandemic forced the cancellation of the public observance of Holy Week and Easter in 2020, it took a toll on clergy and parishioners alike.
"For us, as Christians, as Catholics, there was a particular challenge of not being able to celebrate these most sacred days together. We wanted to be good citizens and good custodians of our physical health and the public good," said Fr. Pullis. "I heard from many Catholics, young and old, who said they never would have imagined having a time of Easter where they couldn't go to church."
But from the challenges, a sense of gratitude and a prayer answered for this year with the return of in-person Easter Mass.
Archbishop of Detroit Allen H. Vigneron will celebrate the in-person liturgies of Holy Week and Easter at the Cathedral with the following schedule:
- Holy Thursday, April 1: Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7 p.m.
- Good Friday, April 2: Passion of the Lord at 1 p.m.
- Holy Saturday, April 3: Easter Vigil at 9 p.m.
- Easter Sunday, April 4: Easter Sunday Mass at 11 a.m.
"I've seen so many people come to me with tears in their eyes with a new and deeper appreciation that this year they can be in person and celebrate what it means to be Catholic," said Fr. Pullis.
Seating will be limited and masks and social distancing will be required, but for people like Marilyn Webb, who plan to attend mass this Sunday at the Cathedral, gathering together again gives renewed hope.
“It brings new hope. It's life-giving being able to see everyone in person, seeing that excitement ... it's almost like it's brand new for us, that we're starting over again, and that's something I love, especially with with our faith, that each day brings something new and we can just focus all on Christ and share that with other people, and give other people hope,” said Webb.
It’s that hope that can hopefully still translate across the airwaves, and that’s why WXYZ-TV Channel 7 will also televise and stream Easter Mass on WXYZ.com at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 4. The pre-recorded mass from the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament will be led by Fr. Pullis.
The broadcast is for people, like Dorothy Carson of Dearborn, who still may not be able to make it this year.
"I know very well what it's like to be homebound and to have that Easter opportunity to hear mass and to pray not only with the priests, but also all those people that attend mass ... it's very edifying that people come together to pray together, and I just cannot wait to be part of that."
Part of a community that’s shown this past year that if there’s one thing a pandemic can’t stop, it’s faith.