BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s been more than two months since the Archdiocese of Baltimore welcomed parishioners into its churches.
On Sunday, churches began cautiously ramping up in-person services after getting the green light from the state.
“A lot of people are anxious to get back to church and I’m anxious to see them,” Archbishop William Lori said.
Catholic churches within the archdiocese are moving forward with their second phase of reopening, which allows them to open at one-third of their normal capacity. That rate is less than the state-regulated 50 percent in jurisdictions that have further eased coronavirus-related restrictions.
“I think the decision was made to open a little smaller, see how it goes, and as we move into a second phase we can accommodate more people in our churches,” Lori said.
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In Anne Arundel County, the First Mt. Olive Freewill Baptist Church plans to open its doors next weekend. On Sunday, the church held a service in its parking lot.
“It’s just great to be here in the parking lot and be able to praise the Lord,” one attendee told WJZ.
“Even sitting in the car you still can feel the energy of how the Lord can still move in spite of use having to distance ourselves,” churchgoer Melina Cole added.
The Baltimore Jewish Council said synagogues are also moving forward with caution.
“No one’s in a rush to reopen indoor services. For all of them, the highest priority continues to be the health of their congregants,” Howard Libit with the Baltimore Jewish Council told WJZ on Friday.
Many churches still plan to hold online worship services for those who are not ready to worship in person.