With spring just beginning and Easter right around the corner, campus organizations are gearing up for a weekend full of celebration.
In a typical year, students would have a few days off around the holiday, but with this year being anything but typical, classes will remain in session.
Despite this, Parkhurst and Campus Ministry are ensuring students still have ample opportunity to celebrate, even if remaining on campus.
Throughout the season of Lent, Campus Ministry has been holding Lenten art journaling sessions in person, which has provided students with a chance to relax, pray and showcase their creativity. They have also been highlighting different saints on their Instagram page, @hurstcampusmin.
To kick off Holy Week, a Holy Thursday Mass will be held at 7 p.m. on April 1 in the Christ the King Chapel. This traditional Catholic Mass will be followed by an hour of Eucharistic Adoration.
The next day, April 2 and Good Friday, Stations of the Cross will be held at 7 p.m., beginning and ending in the Christ the King Chapel. Unique to this service is a procession throughout campus where students can pray and reflect on the different stages of the Crucifixion.
On April 3, Parkhurst will be joining in on the fun by hosting an Easter Basket Hunt throughout campus. Beginning at 7 p.m., clues will be posted on the FoodU app that will direct students to different locations in search for six Easter baskets. More details are forthcoming and can be found at @mercyhurstdining on Instagram.
Following the hunt, students can pick up Easter egg dying kits at the Student Union. Each kit includes three eggs and everything else needed to have an egg-cellent time.
The next morning, April 4, an Easter Sunday Mass will be held at 11 a.m. in the Christ the King Chapel. Seating is limited to ensure that social distancing can be maintained, so a simultaneous live-steam will be offered for those who cannot attend in person. That day the 7 p.m. evening Mass will not be held.
“We’ve obviously have had to adapt to COVID guidelines this year, primarily in the case of chapel seating,” said campus minister, Michelle Scully. “On Easter, we’ll only be able to do one Mass, so it’ll be live streamed. COVID has also given us the unique opportunity, however, to do these services in the first place. I’m honestly not sure if students have ever been on campus for Easter weekend. Having students around gives us the unique opportunity to provide Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday services on campus, something we usually do not do.”
An Easter brunch will be served in the Grotto Commons from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., featuring a variety of tasty options in addition to an Easter candy bar.
Though it is clear that holiday celebrations are going to look a bit different this year, there is no shortage of ways to celebrate and remain in the Easter spirit. According to Scully, this season brings much joy amid a stressful, ever-changing world.
“Across the country, no one was able to celebrate Easter in person last year, so I think that makes many (myself included) eager to be able to pray and celebrate together this year, even amidst the COVID restrictions,” said Scully. “Through celebrating Easter, the Christian faith reminds us that at the end of suffering comes joy through the resurrection. Especially at this time, I think that many of us are tired and have suffered much over the last year, and this belief in and reminder of the resurrection and the joy to come seems to fall at the right time in our lives.”