PORTLAND — The Diocese of Portland will have all Catholic churches in Maine that have bells ring them at noon on Easter Sunday, April 12. The ringing of the bells is to celebrate Christ’s victory over death and the promise of eternal life as well as offer the community of faithful a shared experience after spending Holy Week apart due to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a news release from Dave Guthro, communications director at the diocese.

The idea came from a faith-filled woman in Hartford who had grown tired of watching traditions being forced to take a year off.

“It’s like the children’s cartoon with the Grinch. Even though he took one thing after another away, the townspeople still came together and had Christmas,” said Sybilla Pettengill, according to the release. “Well, this year, COVID-19 is the Grinch, but we can still have the beauty and joy of Easter.”

Each church will decide the length of the bell ringing, and other denominations and churches are encouraged to join the initiative by ringing their bells as well.

For more information about Holy Week plans at Maine parishes, visit portlanddiocese.org.