South Orange, Maplewood Synagogues & Churches Adjust for ‘Virtual’ Passover & Easter Celebrations

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With places of worship closed due to coronavirus, synagogues and churches throughout South Orange, Maplewood and Millburn are offering Passover and Easter services or programs remotely, hoping to provide solace and a sense of community in a time of stress and worry. Here are some ways to participate from home.

From Congregation Beth El:

In this year’s Passover guide, you will find opportunities for learning prior to Passover, a link to join our virtual second night Passover seder via Zoom, guidance for observance of kashrut during the Passover holiday and more. This year we are experiencing a collective Egypt. Our day-to-day lives have become narrower and more restricted. We do not want the laws of kashrut and cleaning to overwhelm or create greater anxiety. We will do what we can under the current circumstances. Please lean into the freedom of this holiday, as we look for ways to feel free and joyful.

We pray for everyone’s good health and we wish you a chag kasher v’sameach, a joyous Passover, even in this difficult and often scary time.

— Rabbi Olitzky and Rabbi Marder

  • Kashrut in the Time of Coronavirus: Sunday, March 29 at 7:00pm, Join via Zoom
  • Leading a Seder Right now: Sunday, April 5 at 11:00am, Join via Zoom
  • Beth El Virtual Seder: Thursday, April 9 at 5:30pm, Join via Zoom.

From Oheb Shalom:

Rabbi Cooper will lead a Passover Seder on ZOOM using the 30-Minute Seder Haggadah on April 8th, from 5-6pm. We’ll share the most central rituals and end before the meal.

From Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel:

Thanks to the guidance and leadership of Rabbi Daniel Cohen—TSTI’s tech-savvy spiritual leader—the temple was able to move all religious services, adult education, religious school, preschool, Hebrew High programs, and more online, in about a week.

And, the engagement rate is higher in some areas than before the pandemic, with a broader range of members—some in their 90s—logging on for services and the new thrice-weekly morning chats with the rabbi. In fact, many older members have only just been introduced to Zoom . . . and are now also using the app to connect with their families who they cannot visit at this time.

The level of participation clearly shows how thirsty congregants are for connection at this challenging time. The TSTI clergy and educators are delivering the temple experience in all ways. Among them are:

  • Friday evening services stream live via Zoom
  • Saturday morning Torah study, with many people who’ve never participated before joining others to learn together, virtually
  • New programs for teens and parents of teens
  • Support groups for parents
  • Morning coffee and conversation with the clergy, attended by a multigenerational cohort
  • Home projects for preschoolers
  • High school and college student mindfulness and yoga sessions
  • The weekly Melton school adult education program
  • Music and yoga programs for young children
  • Resources about support groups, places to donate, other pertinent information

For more information, visit

From Morrow Memorial United Methodist Church in Maplewood: 

Online services are available for Holy Week here. Videos of past services can be found on the Morrow Church YouTube channel here.

From Prospect Presbyterian Church in Maplewood:

In person CONNECTED and WORSHIP are cancelled on  April 12. Please check back for alternate worship opportunities:

From Fr. Jim Worth at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Maplewood:

St. Joseph Church will be live-streaming the following Holy Week and Easter Services (visit Fr. Jim’s Facebook page here:
  • Holy Thursday (April 9) at 7:00 pm
  • Good Friday (April 10) at 3:00 pm
  • Easter Vigil (April 11) at 8:oo pm
  • Easter Sunday (April 12) at 10:00 am
For more information, visit

From Fr. Brian Needles at Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church in South Orange:

We really miss seeing your faces in the pews! We are therefore going to copy what a priest in Italy did. He asked his parishioners to send him a photo of themselves or their family and the priest then printed them out and affixed them to the pews before he started the celebration of Mass.

I invite you to send me a photo of yourself or your family or a loved one and we will print them out and affix them to the pews for our 10:00 am Easter Sunday live stream Mass. Of course, it won’t be the same as having you physically present at Mass to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus, but it will be a beautiful reminder to us that our parish family is in some way present to us and united. Likewise, this can help you to in some way feel as though you are back in church, even if just by means of photos.

Please send your photos to: 𝐟𝐫𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐥𝐞𝐬@𝐠𝐦𝐚𝐢𝐥.𝐜𝐨𝐦 𝐛𝐲 𝐆𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐅𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐚𝐲, 𝐀𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐥 𝟏𝟎. In your email, please feel free to include the names of everyone in the photos so that we can also write the names on the back of the photos. Photos of individuals, couples, or entire families are fine. We look forward to “seeing” all of you on Easter Sunday morning!

Photo shared by Fr. Brian Needles of Our Lady of Sorrows in South Orange, NJ on Facebook

From Rev. Grant at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Maplewood:

Although we are abstaining from gathering physically at St George’s, there are a number of opportunities for us to  be able to still worship and share fellowship together.

There is a schedule of Holy Week services here.

From Wyoming Presbyterian Church in Millburn:

Our new YouTube Channel is now live. If you missed the service or were unable to access the service this morning on Facebook Live, here is you chance to reconnect with Wyoming in a meaningful and uplifting way. Hear some beautiful music from Steven Shellman and Wyoming soloists and instrumentalists and a timely message from Pastor Caroline as she leads us through Lent.

From St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Millburn:

We will be gathering via Facebook Live and Zoom for at least some of the usual Holy Week and Easter services. We will have options to join with others in the Episcopal Diocese of Newark for some services. Please check back on this page for updated information, which will be posted as soon as it is confirmed.

The Wednesday in Holy Week, we will celebrate Tenebrae, an ancient liturgy of shadow and light. Our friends at Christ Church in Short Hills will be joining us.

From St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Short Hills:

St. Rose of Lima Sunday Mass will be available for viewing options at home at 7:00AM and 9:00AM on channels Comcast 36 or Verizon 33.

Mass will also be available on-demand on this website (ONLY during the Sunday Mass times noted above). In addition, all Masses can be viewed anytime on YouTube.

From First Presbyterian and Trinity Church in South Orange:

Due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) our Sunday services has moved to conference call. The conference call will begin at 10:30 am on Sunday morning.

Teleconferencing Phone number: 646.558.8656
Meeting ID: 711 287 800
URL for video call:

St. Andrew and Holy Communion Episcopal Church in South Orange:

Video of mediations are being provided on the Church’s Facebook page here. Interim Priest-In-Charge Rose Cohen Hassan says, “[w]e are holding Zoom services both tonight [April 9th] and tomorrow [April 10th] at 7:30pm. For login or any other information about Saint Andrews and Holy Communion, please contact me. My cell phone number is on the church voicemail.”

If you know of other local services taking place online, please contact for inclusion in this story. Be well!

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