Local church adjusts Christmas Eve services amid COVID-19

HOUSTON – Christmas Eve Services at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church were a little different compared to years past amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is where we are right now and I think we’re respecting each other and playing it safe by caring for one another,” said Rev. Dr. Russell Levenson, the Rector at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church.

The church set up hand sanitation stations set up at the entrance and required reservations and masks. While also limiting seating spreading the people across the church for social distancing.

“We offer communion, but we’re only offering bread, not wine. And we ask people to keep their masks on until they receive the bread,” said Levenson.

Several extra church services were also added throughout the day to help ensure safety.

“It’s safer than going to work at this point or the grocery stores. So, it seems to be well structured,” said Rachel Van Til, who attended church services said.

Mark Hughes, the Principal Trumpet with Houston Symphony and a parishioner said, “I’m very proud of the way that we’re handling it here and I always feel very safe when I’m here.”

Hughes said he regularly plays at the church for Christmas Eve services.

He also happened to take part in the Pfizer vaccine trial months ago, before later positive for having anti-bodies.

“It’s doing what it supposed to do and it gives me a little peace of mind,” Hughes said.

He and many others are optimistic about the COVID-19 vaccines now available and the thoughts of one day getting back to normal - soon.

“Let the scientist do their work and let’s do our part and get this thing wrapped up as soon as possible,” said Hughes.

“I hope everybody has a great Christmas and I hope the next year maybe we can do this without any mass and without any distancing,” said Levenson.

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