How Michigan churches will keep holiday services safe amid COVID spike

How Michigan churches will keep holiday services safe amid COVID spike
Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 7:50 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Churches across Mid-Michigan are preparing for Christmas Eve and Christmas services, but because of the omicron variant, some traditions will look a little different.

Even with the concerns that coronavirus presents, churches are finding ways to safely worship for Christmas.

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Christmas bells were already ringing in the holiday Thursday in Lansing.

In 2020, many churches celebrated from home, but as attendance returns to pre-pandemic numbers, some religious centers are expecting a large turnout.

“What’s interesting is we have been back and people who are symptomatic have chosen not to come, but our numbers have been close to what they were two years ago,” said Fr. Steve Mattson with the Church of the Resurrection.

But some churches said they’ve seen a more gradual return.

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“Regardless of your denomination -- whether Protestant or Catholic or whatever faith group you’re apart of -- there is hesitancy to come back to church in the midst of COVID,” said Ron Leix, an Episcopal Church member.

For those who decide to attend an in-person service, they will notice some changes. Some churches are requiring masks and temperature checks at the door. Communion won’t be passed out from person-to-person in some places.

Some church-goers said they’re just relieve to be able to have a sense of normalcy on the holiday.

“There’s nothing like being in-person for a Christmas service or a Christmas Eve service,” Leix said. “It’s just something you can’t get online.”

Father David Blank, with St. Davids Episcopal Church, said there will be a drive-thru communion shortly after its ceremony at 4 p.m. for those who feel more comfortable worshipping at home.

More: Holiday travel kicks off in Mid-Michigan amidst surge in omicron variant

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