SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — On this Good Friday, millions of people across the globe unified in prayer and fast during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fasting during Holy Week is a traditional worship for many faiths. Yet, amid the international crisis, it took on even more significance this year.
“The pandemic, this whole thing is scary for everybody. I think it is a good thing everybody can come together for something that is important,” said Trudi Haley, a Catholic in Salt Lake City.
Last weekend, President Russell M. Nelson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called for people of all faiths to partake in a worldwide fast. Watching on his mission in San Diego, Elder Jaden Taylor of Saratoga Springs, made a Facebook group inviting others to participate.
"I want people to feel that they are loved. Everyone in this world, no matter what our desires or hobbies are, we all are connected with one thing. We need to feel love,” said Elder Taylor said.
By Friday, more than a half million people from across the world joined the group.
“We noticed that people were tired of feeling hopeless and waited to realize that if we all, whether you are religious or not, if there is a sense of community it gives people a sense of hope that they are doing something,” said Elder Taylor Lee.
Native American Carl Moore performed a northern traditional dance on Antelope Island to offer blessings to those on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight and others who may be suffering.
He donned full regalia and a face mask.
"I have the ability to dance and breathe and other people don’t right now. That’s another reason why we dance is to dance for the people who can’t dance,” said Moore, creates of PANDOS and SLC Air Protectors.
A buffalo in the background symbolize strength the world needs during the pandemic.
“I think right now is a time when people definitely need hope and encouragement and I wanted to do that and in the same time, acknowledge people’s pain and suffering,” Moore said.
No matter the religion, culture, or background, people come together to share a sense of community while hoping for a better tomorrow.
"If we get together on this, we will overcome this and we don’t have to be so afraid,” said Elder Lee.