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Churches prepare for return of in-person Christmas Eve services

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 5:28 PM EST
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VINTON, Va. (WDBJ) - Last year saw many changes to tradition, including how we celebrate the holidays. For many people, it simply isn’t Christmas time until they are able to attend a Christmas church service in person, something that was impossible for many people last year. This year, many local churches are excited to get back to tradition.

Last Christmas Eve, the Vinton Baptist Church held a drive-in service in the parking lot of River Park shopping center. This year, they are excited to gather again in their home.

“Now to be back together in person on Christmas Eve in our sanctuary, it’s a lot more intimate space, it’s a lot more personable,” says Travis Russell, Pastor of Vinton Baptist Church. We’re just really looking forward to our congregation being able to experience this this year the way that we had hoped for.”

While much of the service will remain the same, church officials say there will be a handful of slight differences to comply with COVID protocol.

“We still are limiting our touched surfaces,” he continues. “Probably our biggest difference is that we are unable to serve communion in the way that we are accustomed to. It’s pre-packaged cups and wafers that everybody gets when they come in. So, there are still some things. We encourage those that feel more comfortable to wear a mask to certainly do so. So there are going to be some things that are different about that, and we also know that many have already shared with use that they are going to be joining us through livestream.”

Celebrating the season and being able to gather again.

“To hear that chorus of voices singing, to see the glow of the candle lights when we dim the lights, there’s some of those things that can not be replicated in any other way, in any other space,” adds Russell. “We are so excited to be able to get back to that tradition which many hold so dear to them at this time of year.”

Vinton Baptist Church will hold its Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. and they welcome anyone who wishes to attend.

A stream of the service is available here.

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