(UNDATED) — Governor Eric Holcomb issued a warning to all churches ahead of Passover and Easter: Do not hold in-person services.
This comes after police cited church leaders in Hammond for violating the “stay at home” order when they held church service on Palm Sunday after more than 30 people gathered for the service.
Gov. Holcomb ordered religious services are NOT labeled essential.
“This past Palm Sunday, those palm branches symbolized peace and victory as Jesus was entering Jerusalem and thrown at his feet. We will see victory. We will see peace when we, too, complete our journey through this,” said Holcomb. “Many of us are dependent on the church as a body, not as a building. So please, I just, please, we are putting out this guide for all of our goods.”
Gov. Holcomb was adamant during his daily virtual news conference Monday that even though this is considered Holy Week for many Christians, everyone still needs to abide by the order to avoid gatherings and hunker down.
“As tough as this week — and there are other weeks, very religiously speaking, important weeks for other faiths throughout the year — this disease does not care. This disease will prey on the vulnerable. This disease will prey on large gatherings. We have it in us to prevent that,” said Gov. Holcomb.
What families can do for an Easter meal this weekend – State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box urged families not to have big gatherings and to continue social distance.
“My family is asking the same thing. We will not be seeing my father, who is 88 years old, and we will not be seeing some of my other family members that have asthma and other underlying health conditions. We may get together as a very small nuclear family and have dinner together, but we do a good job social distancing even then,” said Dr. Box.