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Like the rest of the world, I miss my daily routine from before the COVID-19 pandemic. Easy, early-morning banter with the invariably happy baristas at my local coffee spot. The hugs, handshakes and high-fives, all forbidden now, that mark the time and place of my days, more than I ever realized.

One thing I miss particularly is the celebration of the Mass. I imagine people of other faith traditions feel the same about their own interrupted worship. The sense of deprivation didn’t hit me fully until last Sunday when I streamed Easter Mass, four words this lifelong Catholic never thought he’d have occasion to write, let alone experience.

I am not complaining. It’s absolutely necessary in our age of social distancing, and spiritual communion does not require physical proximity. But that doesn’t make remote worship easy, especially for me, with whom no one would confuse a mystic.

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During college when I’d leave for Mass my friend and roommate, a Baptist from Houston whose religious services were broadcast nationally, would chuckle and say “my church comes to me” as he’d turn on the television in our Charlottesville, Va., apartment. I never had that option. Now it’s my only one.

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