Belfast, Northern Ireland, Apr 7, 2021 / 18:01 pm America/Denver (CNA).
With public religious services resuming in Northern Ireland, leaders have welcomed the return to worship and emphasized the dangers of isolation.
Public Masses resumed in the region March 26, while many ecclesial communities resumed their services April 4.
During Easter Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Belfast Telegraph reported, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh welcomed back a virtual and physical community.
He said the Church was "conscious this year of the victims of the Covid crisis, including those who are finding it more and more difficult to cope with lockdown: the lonely and bereaved; those who are unable to see or embrace loved ones; those for whom the last year has brought increased financial or business worries; those whose relationships have been under great pressure; those who have found their addictions hard to manage."
Albin Rankin, pastor of Stormont Presbyterian, described the reunion as “hopeful” and said it was a small step toward normalcy. It had been 100 days since the congregation last gathered for an in-person service.