Ramon Camacho was one of the few Catholics in the archdiocese who got to celebrate the church’s biggest feast day in person.

Camacho, a member of Immaculate Conception Parish in Stayton, ran the livestream for the Mass.

“Being in an empty church for the biggest liturgical celebration of the year was definitely a strange and surreal experience, but amid the emptiness, there seemed to be light and hope,” said Camacho. “We may not be able to gather in the physical body of the church, but there was beauty in seeing we are still together, via technology, and could still come together for the sacred paschal mystery.”

Camacho acknowledged the day was different than everyone was used to. He said he was hopeful that Mass could reach those who may not have participated in Holy Week in years.

“There were mixed feelings for sure; however, we rejoice in the fact that Jesus has conquered any darkness.”

Joseph Finnigan is a member of St. Andrew Parish in Northeast Portland. Normally, Finnigan spends Easter with his mother in Central Washington, but that wasn’t an option this year. So he and his wife watched different Masses for the Easter Vigil and ended up streaming several services, including Masses from Mount Angel Abbey and St. Mary Cathedral.

“Just seeing the inside of my church brought me to tears,” said Finnigan.

The Portland man says he hopes churches continue to livestream Masses after the pandemic has subsided.

“It's certainly not the same as in-person Mass, but it can be a very meaningful connection for the elderly and infirm,” he said.

“If there were a livestream, someone with the sniffles might decide to stay home instead of risking giving their cold or flu to all their friends at church,” he added.

Like so many others, Lynette LaRosa tuned into watch the Easter Vigil from Mount Angel Abbey and Easter Mass the following day from Queen of Peace in Salem, her home parish.

She called the day blessed, even though she didn’t spend it with others.

Holly Denman, a parishioner at Our Lady of Sorrows in Southeast Portland, watched the Easter Vigil in Rome, early morning Mass in Rhode Island and Mass at her home parish in Portland. She capped off the day with a brunch with her daughter who lives with her.

Denman added that she spent time “quietly reflecting on the world as we know it and the way Christ would like it to be.”Top of Form

Hannah Marina Gray participated in the livestreamed Easter Vigil Mass at St. Mary Cathedral. The next day, she and her husband went to confession