While unable to gather in person, western Kentuckians shine the light of Easter from their homes
BY ELIZABETH WONG BARNSTEAD, THE WESTERN KENTUCKY CATHOLIC
Ordinarily, The Western Kentucky Catholic’s post-Easter issue features an array of photos from that year’s Holy Week and Easter liturgies. Some memorable pictures have included the searing “Via Crucis” portrayal of Jesus’ walk to Calvary, as depicted by Sts. Joseph and Paul parishioners in the streets of downtown Owensboro, and the smiles shared as a newly-baptized person rises from the waters during St. Stephen Cathedral’s Easter Vigil liturgy.
But this year, as with most (if not all) dioceses around the United States, our sacred celebrations were limited to private liturgies (often live-streamed online) and quiet prayer in our homes as our communities socially isolated and continued the fight the spread of COVID-19.
Staff members of the Diocese of Owensboro decided that while it was not possible for Catholics of western Kentucky to gather in their churches this year, they could still be united in prayer. So on April 3, inspired by others across the state and across the nation doing similar initiatives, an announcement was posted on the diocese’s social media accounts, inviting all to display “Easter lights” as a sign of solidarity during this time.
“Beginning at 8:00 PM on April 11, Holy Saturday, and through May 31, Pentecost Sunday, use the symbol of light as an outward sign in some way on your property as a witness to all of the prayers burning in our hearts and as a reminder that the light has come into our world and has conquered even death,” read the announcement.
The announcement encouraged participants to use the hashtag #EasterLightsKY to share their pictures on social media.
“Each night, as you ‘turn on the lights,’ you might also light a candle and say a prayer to the one ‘who sheds his peaceful light on all humanity’ (the Exsultet from the Easter Vigil) for an end to the pandemic,” the announcement added. “Let’s unite with one another in prayer this Easter season and remind one another and our neighbors that we are never beyond the reach of God. Let’s light up the world!”