Covid-19: Subdued Easter in UAE amid pandemic restrictions

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi Filed on April 3, 2021 | Last updated on April 4, 2021 at 06.04 am

Videograb from the virtual Easter Vigil Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Dubai

Christians in the UAE will not be having much festivities this time around.

The Christian community in the UAE is set for another subdued Easter on Sunday amid Covid-19 restrictions.

Easter Sunday, which marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ after he was crucified on Good Friday, is an important day for the faithful.

However, with Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings at churches and most people being at work on Sunday, it has meant that Christians in the UAE will not be having much festivities this time around.

Leilani Abella, an office secretary, said even though celebrations are low key this year, the community has been spending time praying for the recovery of those affected by the pandemic.

“Throughout the holy week and otherwise too, I and all my friends and family members pray for relief from this situation. I hail from Cebu in the Philippines. I long to travel and see my only daughter. I hope the situation improves. I pray to Jesus Christ for an end to this pandemic,” Leilani said.

Churches streamed live services of the Easter Vigil online through social media platforms on Saturday evening. St George Orthodox Cathedral in Abu Dhabi began its service from 5pm while St Joseph’s Cathedral began streaming from 7pm.

Alex Dosdos, a private sector employee said he believes in the Resurrection Sunday message of hope amid despair. “Saturday is a working day for me. However, I will be back at home in time for Easter Vigil. I will follow the proceedings online with my wife Christine Mondelo. This will mark the beginning of Easter. And with Sunday being a working day, celebrations will be low-key. We may however go out for a while, but we will largely be spending time in prayers. We know it will be a long time before this pandemic ends, but Easter Sunday is all about hope amid despair,” said Dosdos.

On a different note, Joseph Antoney, a technician at a private company says he will be celebrating Easter in a big way with his friends.

“After the vigil mass, we bachelors will get together. We are just 3-4 people and taking all safety measures. We have made preparations of a lavish feast. Many of us were abstaining from meats and other things during the 40 days of Lent. So, Easter is a much-awaited day for celebration. I believe with the grim situation during the pandemic, Easter gives us hope for a change. So, we need to be in high spirits,” Antoney added.


Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.

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