OTTAWA -- With places of worship facing new capacity limits in Ottawa and across Ontario ahead of the Easter weekend, some are pivoting to online services.

Ottawa and Ontario will begin a four-week shutdown on Saturday in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Reverend Dr. Anthony Bailey, minister at Parkdale United Church in Ottawa, is preparing the sanctuary for the upcoming Easter service, only this year, it will be online only.

"We wanted to be very careful to encourage our members to be safe, to be physically distant but also to experience our live-stream service," says Bailey. "This is one of the apex of our celebrations throughout the year. The Easter story, the resurrection story ... that death is not stronger than life and that’s a message we want to bring to people."

In non-pandemic times, more than 500 people would attend the holy celebration, but with new Ontario provincial orders, capacity is now capped at 15 per cent.

Rev. Bailey, along with two other ministers will host the service. There will be plexiglass-glass barriers between them. 

Last year, the church began offering online services and it has been well received.

"People are finding very creative ways," says Bailey. "We have something called moving in spirit, which is a liturgical dance group and in their own respective homes they coordinate the dance movements and package it together in video, which contributes to our worship services."

Parkdale United Church will host a variety of services throughout the Easter long weekend.

On April 2, at 10:30 a.m., there will be a joint online service with St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church

April 4, at 10:30 a.m., Day of Resurrection Service with Rev. Bailey.

The Archdiocese of Ottawa recommends contacting your parish for more information about Easter weekend services.