Burlington churches take different approaches to holiday services amid pandemic

Local News

St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Burlington has continued to hold mass in person during the pandemic, but Father Dallas St. Peter said church officials are taking precautions to ensure the congregation’s safety.

“So there’s certain places where you can’t sit and certain places where you can sit that keep people properly distanced within what the state requirements are given the situation,” St. Peter said. 

The church will also hold mass on Christmas Eve, but with new restrictions. 

“For our Christmas mass we are having sign-up beforehand so we know who’s coming and we keep the numbers within the limit that we can safely have in the church,” he said. 

It’s required that you wear a mask and there will be sanitizing stations. 

“After each sitting, after each mass, we have a sanitation process that goes through and sanitizes the entire church, the pews, the kneelers, anywhere that people were,” St. Peter said. 

First Baptist Church has taken a different approach, holding services every Sunday on Facebook. On Christmas Eve, the church will post a pre-recorded service. 

“We have people coming from different towns and we thought mixing those different groups would be not the best idea,” Pastor Karen Mendes said. 

Mendes said singing is an important piece of their community and worship service, and they felt it wouldn’t be safe to partake in this activity in person. 

“So when we meet electronically we can all sing at the top of our lungs, but if we were meeting in person we would have to really limit the music that we do,” she said. 

Mendes believes people can find comfort and joy in these worships, especially during these times. 

“I think all of us this winter are seeing the times as pretty dark and pretty hard, but the story of Christmas tells us the hard times are not the final times and hope springs again,” she said. 

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