Church leaders prepare for Christmas Eve services amid pandemic

Adjustments to holiday church services

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Within the last week, the Jefferson County Health Department released updated guidance for churches.

Some of the recommendations include continuing to establish protocols to maintain social distancing and continue to use alternative methods for worship, like online services.

Many churches will offer virtual services so people can safely watch from home. Some church leaders hoped to do an outside service so people could spread out, but wet and cold weather changed those plans.

The rector at Woodlawn United Methodist Church plans to hold a brief drive-thru communion service as a safe alternative. People can pick up their communion items to go.

She said they’ve had church members who were diagnosed with COVID and some who have died, so she didn’t feel comfortable having a full in-person service yet.

“I think it’s a greater form of love right now not being together and no transmitting the virus. We’ve chosen that form of love over being together. We believe this is symbolic and God will do the rest,” said Rector Emily Freeman Penfield.

Other recommendations from the health department include seating members in alternating rows if you have in person service and avoid or suspend the use of a choir.

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