Virtual Christmas Eve services for one Raleigh church doesn't change meaning of holiday

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Christmas Eve worship services might have looked a little bit different Thursday night.

But pastors say the holiday still means the same even if people can't be together.

"The whole day has been thrown off because as a pastor, most of our Christmas Eves are wrapped around us getting ready for services and today has been low key," said Brad Barbour, pastor of the Soul Church in Raleigh.

His church rented part of Transfer Food Hall six weeks ago, put a service together and streamed it "live" Thursday night.

"All of 2020 for us has been a reminder of what's really important," Barbour said. "Christmas is a season of love and that's what we love: friends and family getting to do those traditions and many of those traditions include an Christmas Eve service at church."

Other churches held in-person ticketed and socially distanced services, like the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral in Raleigh.

Under the current modified 'Stay-at-Home' order, worship and religious gatherings are not subject to the ten person indoor mass gathering limit.

Different locations of Hope Community Church held services too. According to their website, guests were seated in every other row with separation and masks are required while in the building.

"At the end of day, Christmas though it looks different this year it hasn't changed," Barbour said. "It is what it has always been and as we celebrate Jesus this year, we believe that's where our peace, our joy, our hope for the new year will come from."
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