'It’s surreal': Faith leaders preach to empty pews at Easter
Churches are normally packed at Easter. But with the coronavirus, nothing is normal this year.
The Church of St. Paul the Apostle stands one block from New York’s Columbus Circle. It is the second-largest Catholic church in the city, and this is Easter Week, the busiest time on the church calendar.
But St. Paul’s is nearly empty, shuttered by COVID-19.
“It’s surreal. Ordinarily at Easter we worry that the fire marshal is going to come and shut us down,” says Father Eric Andrews, president of the Paulist Fathers, who have been leading worship on this site since 1858.
In more than a century and a half, St. Paul’s has never seen times like this. The churches of New York have never been closed before, not even for the devastating 1918 flu outbreak. This year, the Easter