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Bishop Curry: Separation during Holy Week a sacrifice, but God is with us

Posted April 7, 2020 3:20 p.m. EDT

Christians across America and around the world are beginning the holiest week of the year – the celebration of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – under orders not to gather, guidance designed to contain the spread of coronavirus.

In an interview Tuesday with WRAL News, the Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, said days and nights spent apart from one another can be a reminder of God’s eternal presence.

“It may be a reminder that God hasn't forgotten us,” Curry said. “There's a song that says, ‘All night, all day, angels watching over me and my Lord.’ Psalm 139 says, ‘Whither shall I go from thy presence? If I climb up to the heaven, thou art there.’”

Curry pointed out that it is a holy week for those in the Jewish faith as well.

“They celebrate Passover, when God brought an end to a period of a painful suffering and servitude to bring the Hebrew people to freedom,” he said.

“These holy days are holy days because they take human suffering seriously. They were born in the crucible of hard times and suffering. That's a reminder that the God that we serve and believe in is a God who is always in the midst of life and in the midst of suffering and hardship, and together with our God, we can walk through this.”

Curry said that, when the days seem long, and the relief from joblessness or isolation seems slow in coming, he counsels mindfulness.

“You don't try to take the whole thing because the whole thing is too big. You take that one day, one moment at a time and live fully into that,” he said.

Despite social distance, human connection is more important in hard times than in good, Curry said.

“There may be days when I am weakened. You are strong. I need your strength. There are days when you'll be weakened. I am strong, and you'll need my strength. There will be days when we are both weak, but we are stronger together,” he said.

Among the difficulties of an Easter season spent apart, for Curry, is the lack of human touch, the hugs and handshakes of celebration and coming together. It is a sacrifice he is willing to make – staying 6 feet away – as another way to love, Curry said.

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