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Places of worship in San Luis Obispo County adjust to move services outdoors Sunday

Posted at 8:37 PM, Jul 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 02:42:13-04

Sunday was special day for many in San Luis Obispo community, as families were able to attend spiritual celebrations outdoors, despite recent changes to places of worship.

Churches were among the many businesses forced to close down again, due to spikes in COVID-19 cases.

Before finding a seat at church services like the one at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, guests are greeted at the entrance to have their temperature taken and will be given hand sanitizer.

Some community members feels the change to outdoor services actually enhanced their experience.

“We deeply missed our community, so to be back, to be celebrating the Eucharist, to be able to be together, and also to be in a garden, it’s sacred to be here," San Luis Obispo resident TJ Clarke said.

Two ceremonies were held for First Communion services on Sunday; a member of the Parish staff says these are typically held in May, but were postponed due to the pandemic.

"Today we are here celebrating," San Luis Obispo resident Laura Delgado said. "After this we will go and continue that celebration at home since we don't have a space right now for anything to celebrate."

The Parish Staff says up to 75 chairs can be out in the patio at a time, but they can hold a capacity of 100 people in the space.

Masks are enforced for the duration of the service with an exception during communion.

The Parish Staff says an individual who is receiving communion will go up to the alter and receive a host in their hand, by either the priest of deacon. They will then have to walk feet away from the distributor of the host where they can then lower their mask, consume the host, and then return to their seat.

The bells, a statement to the church and the community, drew people together after the service. Programs Director LaFreniere says it is an honor to be the bell ringer at the Mission.

“With the mission church, its really the center of the town, the center of the community," LaFreniere said.

Back in May, the state allowed churches and other places of worship to reopen for in-person services at a 25 percent capacity or a maximum of 100 people.

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa will hold mass services on the patio on Sunday's, with an English service at 8 a.m. and a Spanish service at 11 a.m.

Daily masses will also be live-streamed on the parish's website and on their YouTube channel. Sunday services will not be live-streamed from the patio.

There will be no 6 p.m. mass service.