Silent night: Churches scramble to salvage Christmas Eve service amid new restrictions

·1 min read
Where the Christmas choir would have been sitting at the St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church in Iona. (CBC - image credit)
Where the Christmas choir would have been sitting at the St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church in Iona. (CBC - image credit)

New COVID-19 restrictions that came into effect Friday on P.E.I. have left some churches scrambling to figure out how — or even if — they can hold Christmas Eve services.

Organized gatherings, including worship services, can't have more than 50 people.

Multiple cohorts of 50 are not permitted.

And worship services can only have one person singing. No choirs or congregational singing is permitted.

While some churches are going ahead with services, other churches are cancelling services altogether, holding multiple services or opting to move everything online.

John Barrett, who attends Zion Presbyterian Church in Charlottetown, said they rushed to record a full service Thursday night before the new rules kicked in.

'No choice but to cancel'

"When we received the news yesterday, of course, that we would be limited to one singer and 50 people, we had no choice but to cancel," he said.

Tony Davis/CBC
Tony Davis/CBC

"But our staff was quite keen and they called everybody and last night at around 7 o'clock, we were able to record the entire Christmas Eve service, complete with choir. So those will be broadcast via YouTube."

There are other Island churches that also recorded services in advance of the new rules.

Those restrictions are in effect until Jan. 8.

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