Coronavirus: Easter Sunrise service cancelled; San Marco Catholic Church suspends mass

The massive Marco Island Easter Sunrise service on the beach for April 12 has been cancelled, in favor of a live streaming service.

San Marco Catholic Church suspended mass until after Easter effective March 20 to face the threat posed by COVID-19, according to its Facebook page

"Together, we face the threat posed by the COVID-19 outbreak - a crisis that is unprecedented in our lifetime," wrote Frank J. Dewane, bishop of the Diocese of Venice in Florida. "Still, there is a need to remain flexible and adapt to circumstances, following, as best we can, the guidance of public health officials."

Visitation to Parish Churches in the Diocese of Venice to pray is also suspended.

"The Faithful and visitors to the Diocese are dispensed from any obligation to attend Mass during this period," Dewane wrote.

The Diocese's website has a list of opportunities to view the celebration of the Holy Mass. Parish websites will also provide other suggestions for how to promote prayerfulness and spiritual communion.

"Priests [...] are asked to make prudent decisions about weddings and funerals while observing guidance to limit gatherings. Baptisms will only be celebrated in cases of emergency. The anointing of the sick ought to be requested only in genuine need for the dying."

 All Confirmations prior to Easter have been postponed, along with penance services. Parish and social events, as well as ministry gatherings, are also suspended. 

Marco Lutheran Church decided to live-stream its Sunday and Holy Week services.

"We will not be holding services at church for congregational attendance until further notice," according to the church's website.

The church is ending the Saturday worship service during this season.

"We will continue to live-stream one Sunday service at 9:30 a.m. and encourage you to watch the service on your computer. We will continue to live-stream the Wednesday Lenten services on March 18, March 25 and April 1 all at 7:00 p.m."

"We will live-stream Holy Week services on [...]Thursday and Good Friday at 7:00 p.m., and we encourage you to watch these services on your computer."

The Jewish Congregation of Marco Island will be conducting remote-worship at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays, as well as Torah-study at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings.

"Virtual attendance at either Shabbat worship Friday or Torah-study Saturday is available by joining Zoom meeting #944-816-2391 with password 024122," according to the congregation's website.

The Congregation noted people will need to install the free Zoom smartphone app or computer software beforehand.  

Omar Rodríguez Ortiz is a community reporter for Naples Daily News and Marco Eagle. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram as @Omar_fromPR, and on Facebook. Support his work by subscribing to Naples Daily News.