RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — For many churches, the holidays are some of the busiest times of the year. However, services are looking a little different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Becky Piper a pastor at Calvary Lutheran says most years, Christmas Eve brings in the most church-goers.
“Christmas Eve is usually, between all our services, way over a thousand people. Usually it’s completely packed inside and out here is all lined with chairs and it’s packed,” Pastor Piper said.
The Calvary Lutheran Church here in Rapid City can hold up to 735 people in this room alone. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year only 150 people are allowed with reservations.
“So we’ve changed the service a little bit, taken out some of the music and of course we are not passing around offering plates or not doing any of those things where people would be interacting with one another,” Pastor Piper said.
Calvary Church also requires people to wear masks and social distance if they attend in person. Mass is also provided online.
At Destiny Foursquare, the church normally holds about 260 people but are now limited to 140.
“We’ve decided to go to two Christmas Eve services at 4 and 5:30 so we can accommodate people in a safer environment,” Pastor Shop said.
Deanna Shop a pastor for Destiny Foursquare says there are also masks and hand sanitizer available when you walk in.
The Church will also be streaming services online.
“Just trying to keep in mind safety and health for this time but still being able to gather, still be able to celebrate the reason for the season,” Pastor Shop said.
KELOLAND Television will be airing several Christmas services on December 24th and 25th.