Mass services run ahead of Christmas amid pandemic – NBC Connecticut



Christmas is almost here, and some churches in the state have held their annual services for the first time on Christmas Eve in nearly two years.

The unified harmony of the instruments is a familiar sound to so many who have been eagerly awaiting to come together on Christmas Eve.

Valerie McDonald has called the Emanuel Lutheran Church her home of church for over 30 years.

“They had horns and it was just wonderful to be in the church again,” McDonald said.

Valerie and her husband Craig have had to deal with the constant adjustments in church services brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and they tell NBC Connecticut they’re happy to see familiar faces.

“They’ve gone from zoom meetings to virtual, to parking lot services,” said Craig McDonald.

“It’s nice to be with family and to celebrate this happy occasion in a difficult year,” said Valerie McDonald.

2021 looks different at the Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center in West Hartford. People don’t look through a screen to connect with each other; instead, they are in person and masks are required.

“We chose to have everyone masked for services and I think people felt safe that way,” said Father David Cinquegrani.

The center held its mass services on Christmas Eve and wanted to give hope and a sense of community this year.

“It really is a time that brings peace, no matter where we are, no matter what is going on, I think the world is just trying to come together,” Cinquegrani said.

The friendliness and coming back to church is exactly what some parishioners are telling NBC Connecticut over the holidays.

“As long-term members, it’s nice to have this community and this tradition,” said Craig McDonald.


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