PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – With just three days before Christmas, many families usually prepare for traditions, such as going to churches to celebrate the holiday. This year, that will not be possible with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some Christian denominations will not allow people inside while others will only allow a limited amount but will still encourage people to use their live streaming services.
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The non-denominational The Bible Chapel in the South Hills has already started Christmas services to avoid overcrowding.
Earlier this month, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh Dorsey McConnell called on all congregations not to have in-person services until 2021.
“We have four different services and they’re all packed with people, but not this year,” said Rev. Noah Evans of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. “This year, we take care of each other by staying safe and staying separate by practicing social distancing. “
The Episcopal Church of Saint Paul of Mount Lebanon will broadcast its service live and allow people to commune in the parking lot or within one family at a time.
“So that will give people a taste of what it will be like to be in church on Christmas Eve,” Reverend Evans said.
Likewise, at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Allison Park, there will be nothing inside.
“It’s the best way to love someone, is to want them to be well. And wanting to go through it together, ”said Jeffrey Sterling, pastor of St. Paul United Methodist Church.
St. Paul’s plans to have outdoor service in the parking lot. They are also planning to have a special Christmas video online for their congregation.
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“We know there are people who would like to come. We decorated the whole courtyard and the church for an illuminated evening we had. So some might want to come, ”said Pastor Sterling.
While the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh broadcasts everything live, it will allow a limited number of people inside churches for the holidays.
Bishop David Zubik encourages his subscribers to take advantage of the live streaming services.
“A lot of people – and rightly so – fear entering an environment where there are a good number of people,” he told Zoom.
Bishop Zubik said parishes require people to register for Masses on each parish’s websites. If you are not registered, you may not be allowed to enter.
“It’s important to see the big picture. We have to do what we have to do to protect each other as much as possible, ”he said.
In Gibsonia, the Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Church will be hosting three drive-thru services in the parking lot at 5, 7 and 8 on Christmas Eve.
KDKA will air several Christmas services on CBSN Pittsburgh between midnight and 9 a.m. on Christmas Day.
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Here’s a full list: