BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Christmas is typically one of the busiest times of the year for churches, but this holiday season looks quite a bit different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore, services have been held safely since June and also streamed online. But for Christmas, much larger crowds are expected.

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At St. Mary Anne’s Episcopal Church in North East, more than 75 families took part in a drive-through communion on Christmas Eve.

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Worshippers take part in a Christmas Eve service at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore

As more people filter in, churches have been forced to make a number of changes to accommodate worshippers safely.

“We’re confident that our protocols are appropriate, that they’re following CDC guidelines,” Msgr. Richard Woy, the rector at the cathedral, said.

Those who attend services in person will be required to wear masks and social distancing will also be mandatory.

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Among the worshippers was Liam Madigan.

“It’s fun to celebrate the birth of Jesus,” he said.

Worshippers take part in a Christmas Eve service at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore

For the first time, admission to Mass at the cathedral will be ticket-only.

The number of services has been increased to eight across Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in order to accommodate as many people as possible.

Msgr. Woy said 2020’s Mass might be the most unique he’s ever experienced. Still, he wants to remind people even in our darkest moments there is joy.

“People’s faith is resilient, and as you see, people come here tonight to express their faith and their confidence in God’s love and presence, and that’s going to lift us all up,” he said.

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