Just like many events and holidays this year, Christmas was celebrated differently across churches in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Across North Texas, faith leaders held Christmas masses and other services both in-person and virtually.
At the Saint Patrick Cathedral in Fort Worth, reservations were required to attend masses on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day as seating was limited.
Mike Krupp said he and his family have attended every mass since the church reopened in-person services.
“It’s a tradition that we have to come mass on Christmas. We wish we could have come last night. Usually, we do the midnight mass but it was too crowded,” Krupp said. “I would feel lost [without it]. My soul would be empty and this fulfills my soul.”
At Trinity Episcopal Church in Fort Worth, Christmas services were held online this year. Rev. Dr. Robert Pace, lead pastor at the church said for them, the decision came down to safety.
Virtual services have become a standard at the church over the past several months, Pace said.
“We decided even for this most sacred holiday of Christmas which was always so wonderful to see everyone’s wonderful faces together, that it was very important that we had these virtually as well,” Rev. Dr. Pace said. “We wanted to really honor loving one another in a way that would be safe, so we had these services virtually.”
Pace was Tarrant County’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 earlier this year after he contracted the virus during an out-of-state conference.
“I have recovered well after COVID. Getting through COVID was very difficult, but I have been doing very well,” he said. “It’s been a long road, but a healthy road.”
Moving forward, Pace said church leaders are continuing to monitor COVID-19 activity. Until they feel it is safe to resume in-person services, he said they will continue to hold virtual services.