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Some Triad churches make changes to Christmas worship services

Worshippers have been strongly encouraged to wear face coverings or stay home and watch mass virtually.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Some Triad churches are making changes to holiday worship services. A few have canceled their traditional Christmas Eve and Christmas Day church services all together while others have planned to rely on technology to help keep the spirit of Christmas.

All this in a bid to keep worship services from becoming COVID-19 'super spreader events.'

For churches planning to have in-person worship to mark the holiday, capacity has been reduced to provide ample space for social distancing. Worshippers have also been strongly encouraged to wear masks and face coverings or stay home and watch mass virtually.

RELATED: 'Keep the faith, just stay safe' | Religious leaders urge continued use of virtual services as more counties turn red in state's COVID-19 alert system

"It is very hard for a Christian congregation to be physically apart," said Ginny Tobiassen of the Home Moravian Church in Winston-Salem.

The church has not held in-person service since the onset of the pandemic in the country in March. The congregation has relied on online worship services. For its popular Christmas Eve Love Feast, church leaders have made a slight modification to allow for the congregation to drive through and pick up items for worship.

"We will provide candles and the worship order of service so that they can go home turn on their computer and worship with us online and they'll have everything they need to have their own love feast," Tobiassen said.

Several denominations have made similar or other types of modifications.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services at Greensboro's six catholic churches are by advance reservation only. 

People are encouraged to check their parish's website for details or plan to watch mass online. 

"The important thing is not to override good health protocols, the important thing is to find ways to connect that can still observe those health protocols," Tobiassen said.