Lexington church remembering lives lost to COVID-19 with special candle
On this Good Friday, many Christians are spending the day preparing for their first Easter at home, but one church is doing something special to keep the faith while its members stay inside.
Saint Paul Catholic Church has been standing for more than 150 years. A sign outside its doors asks people to stay away, which JR Zerkowski, director of interfaith ministries, says is an oxymoron.
"The greatest love that you can have for one another is to lay down your life, we’re called to lay it down now by staying at home," he said.
Inside is not what you would expect to see on Good Friday: empty pews, no choir, deserted palm branches and no one behind the pulpit, but one candle stands out, even without a flame.
"As the candle is consumed by the flames, so will the virus symbol at the the top, and the year, and all that will be left is the victorious cross," he said.
This historic church's leaders say they can 'be the church' by following the governor’s orders.
A parishioner painted the Easter candle featuring Jesus, a cross with nails and a depiction of the virus.
The candle is meant to bring light into a dark place, so in a world full of anxiety, fear, pain and loss, the flame symbolizes hope.
"The human condition is fraught with sickness and death, but the love of God compels us to see beyond all of that," Zerkowski said.
Just as a savior is celebrated for having victory over death, this candle represents victory over a virus.