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Religious observances during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone’s life in some way. This impact extends to our religious communities. April is a holy month for many faiths.

We understand the profound significance of these events in people’s lives. COVID-19 related restrictions will affect how many of us would typically observe these events.

Stay Home, Stay Healthy and religious observances

Participating in religious events often provides people with a sense of comfort and peace. And that can be especially important during this stressful time. Many of these observances bring family, friends and communities together to share the experience.

Gathering with others may play an important role in your typical observance. Unfortunately, these are not typical times.

A row of tea lights flicker against a dark background

We encourage everyone to Stay Home and Stay Healthy during this outbreak. Attending any gatherings of any kind increases your risk of getting COVID-19 and spreading it to others. Even with face masks, you can still spread illness to others.

We recommend finding creative ways to celebrate your faith while following social distancing guidance. Many religious services are being broadcast online. Some congregations are organizing phone trees to help check in with vulnerable members of their community.

You should ask leaders in your religious community which services are available and how to safely participate. Use video chats to spend time with people you can’t visit in-person.

Community service plays a part in many religions. Volunteering could be a faith-based action to help others in our communities. Ask if your religious organization has volunteer opportunities. You can also volunteer at a food bank. Visit for more volunteer options.

Special observances typically have special foods, songs, and other meaningful traditions. We encourage you to still enjoy those foods and songs that bring you comfort and reassurance. Spend more time with family in your household. Prayer and meditation may be calming for you and help to reduce stress for better mental health.

Just remember, staying at home is a must.

This is not guidance we give lightly. We are members of your communities and we all face these challenges together. The safest thing you can do for yourself and your community is stay home.