Churches adjust how they’ll ring in new year during a pandemic

During the Christmas Eve holiday, Christians in WAVE Country say going to Mass during the...
During the Christmas Eve holiday, Christians in WAVE Country say going to Mass during the pandemic is more important this year than ever before.(WAVE 3 News)
Updated: Dec. 28, 2020 at 11:00 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Just like most everything in 2020, things will be different for Shreveport-Bossier City area churches celebrating the start of 2021.

The holiday is widely celebrated. And for churchgoers, it’s generally a big deal every year.

“Before COVID, many churches had watch night services, New Year’s Eve services, communion services, candlelight services,” St. Elizabeth Baptist pastor Donzell Hughes said.

He decided to still hold an hourlong communion service Dec. 31.

Any other year, though, “we would be there until midnight and come to the altar and pray the old year out and the new year in,” Hughes explained.

He said he believes people should be able to go church to end the year off right.

“I feel like people are more conscious now; and I feel like if we can go to work, we should be able to go to church.”

On the other hand, some churches are holding no in-person services.

“We don’t fear; we take the necessary precautions,” Praise Temple Bishop L. Lawrence Brandon said. “We entertained the idea to have a live worship ... . But this year, it’s going to be completely virtual.”

It was not an easy decision, he said.

“Tough is not the word; tough is an understatement. It was a horrible struggle to say that we’ll go virtually.”

Brandon said he wants to ensure people are not only joining the celebration but also worshipping from wherever they may be tuning in.

Hughes stressed the fact that each church is different, therefore, each church in the ArkLaTex will have its own approach to celebrating the start of the new year.

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