Houses of worship turn to online streaming, other alternatives due to COVID-19

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The music could be heard echoing down the empty pews at Philadelphia's Congregation Rodeph Shalom during the Sabbath.

Anyone approaching the synagogue Friday welcomed by a sign on the door announcing no-in person Shabbat services.

The startling new reality for many in the era of the Coronavirus.

"It affected the whole synagogue," said Baugh Jackson.

Jackson works at the Buerger Early Learning Center at the synagogue which has so far been spared any closure.

"Another one bites the dust, yes, cause things are getting canceled left and right," Jackson said

But, the doesn't mean this service is for naught.

The crew inside was producing a live stream of the services to be viewed by congregants at home.

The same could not be said however for Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El.

The sign on their doors announcing services canceled completely.

A message on their website announcing future assessments.

Over at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, officials announcing Sunday Mass will also be streamed online.

"It's to make what happens here at the Cathedral as widely available as possible," said Father Dennis Gill.

While many houses of worship will be streaming their services, some will be going to added lengths to ensure parishioners can honor their faith.

The All Saints' Episcopal Church Torresdale on Frankford Avenue will be offering drive-up "Communion-To-Go" this Sunday.

We'll be standing out front in our circle and offing the Eucharist to people who drive up in their cars," said Father James Walton.

Father James Walton saying the service is similar to one offered during Ash Wednesday and that necessary precautions will be taken.

Adding, in a time with so much uncertainty, some traditions need to be preserved.

"Faith and the church need to find a place where we can help the congregations and help the community find some normalcy in this," he said.
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