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Utah houses of worship begin holding in-person services again

Posted at 7:22 PM, May 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-10 21:41:31-04

SALT LAKE CITY — For places of worship, Sunday marked the first time in months that they were allowed to hold in-person services.

Executive orders by Governor Gary Herbert made that possible as long as social distancing was enforced.

Most religious institutions are taking steps slowly to reopen.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on Thursday that it would be reopening in phases, with the first of those starting on Monday.

In Taylorsville, the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church held their very first in person meeting since the pandemic erupted.

“When I walked out and saw their faces, it hit me kind of harder than I expected,” Pastor Tyler Peil told FOX 13. “It was a great joy to be able to have that physical presence.”

They had a much smaller than normal group but also are keeping their online streaming going for now.

Pastor Peil says this time has been tough on everyone, but his congregation is strong.

“We belong to the Lord and we are the church, because we’re His... not because we have a building,” Peil said.

In downtown Salt Lake City inside the vast halls of the Cathedral of the Madeline, the pews were mostly empty. But still, Father Martin Diaz stood to give his homily.

“It was a great joy to have people come back and join us,” Father Diaz told FOX 13.

Right now, the Catholic Church is not requiring members to attend Sunday Mass.

The Cathedral of the Madeline says that on Monday they are returning to normally scheduled in-person services for those who want to attend.

This has been an emotional time for many who attend.

“It’s been very sad," Diaz said. "We want to be together and we want to see each other... It’s just something that’s missing, but we know it’s something we have to do.”