New normal: Worshiping in the age of COVID-19
New normal: Worshiping in the age of COVID-19
Around the world, houses of worship are reopening, and they all bear the distinct mark of the COVID-19 influence—prayer rugs are 6 feet apart, pews are mostly empty, entry is permitted only after temperature screenings, and masks are donned along with traditional vestments.
The need for connection—be it spiritual or just human— is, for many people the world over, at an all-time high. And while we can’t yet exchange physical offerings of peace, love, and prayer, we can begin entering the sacred and holy places central to our spirituality. The world can worship together, but physically apart.
Click through to see images from around the world curated by Stacker depicting how worshipping is changing in the wake of COVID-19.
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Friday prayers in Lebanon
Worshippers keep a safe distance from each other at the Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque in the Lebanese capital of Beirut.
Temperature checks in Syria
A medic checks the temperature of a Syrian worshipper before entering the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus.
Solitary prayers in Ireland
Belfast's oldest Catholic Church, St Mary's in Chapel Lane, placed signs to create a one-way system, installed hand sanitizer gel dispensers at the entrance, and limited the number of pews open for parishioners to maintain a 2-meter distance.
Outdoor services in Russia
Priest Roman Tsokur and believers during an outdoor service at St Tatiana's church of the Trubilin Kuban State Agrarian University in Krasnodar, Russia.
Drive-in services in Northern Ireland
Pastor Billy Jones stands inside a potato delivery truck as he delivers his sermon to his parishioners, sat inside their cars to social distance, in the parking lot at Dunseverick Baptist Church in Northern Ireland on May 24 during a drive-in Sunday church service.
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Mosques disinfected in Turkey
Akcakoca Mosque, Turkey's only octagon mosque, is being disinfected as a preventive measure against COVID-19.
Masks worn at Mosques
Muslims offer prayers at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in Dhaka, Bangladesh, during the Eid al-Fitr festival.
Eid al-Fitr prayers in Indonesia
Muslims attend Eid al-Fitr prayers at a field in the Bandung, West Java province, Indonesia, on May 24.
Return of the faithful in Rome
Nuns and faithfuls attend the Regina Caeli Sunday prayer in the reopened St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on May 24 in Rome.
Plastic partitions in Indonesia
Residents pray in a mosque fitted with plastic curtains at the Ar-Rosuli Islamic Boarding School in Semarang regency in Indonesia.
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Preparing for prayer in Senegal
People disinfect their hands for Friday prayer at the entrance of the Massalikul Jinaan Mosque in Dakar.
Masked prayer at a Buddhist temple in Thailand
Buddhist monks wearing face masks as a preventive measure pray at Phleng temple in Thailand.
Contact-free donations in Northern Ireland
A deacon at Maghaberry Elim Pentecostal Church, Craigavon, deposits offerings and mission boxes given by attendees at a drive-in service.
Worshipping from a distance in France
Believers wearing protective face masks attend the first mass publicly given at the Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica in Marseille on May 24.
Confessions from cars in Maryland
Father Scott Holmer hears confessions in the parking lot of St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Bowie, Maryland.
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A moment of introspection in Italy
A woman attends a mass at the Cappella Feriale of the Duomo cathedral in Milan on May 18.
Live-streaming services in New York
Fabian Arias, a Lutheran pastor with Saint Peter's Church in Manhattan, prepares his Sunday services via an internet live stream on May 24 in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan.
Sanitary measures at a cathedral in Spain
A person washes his hands as he enters the cathedral as part of the sanitarian measurements, in Malaga, Spain, on May 24.
Limited pews for parishioners in Northern Ireland
Belfast's oldest Catholic Church, St. Mary's in Chapel Lane, reopens for solitary prayer.
Fatherly assistance in Bangladesh
A father adjusts his son's face mask during Eid al-Fitr prayers at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque.
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Broadcasting to the community in Ivory Coast
Imam records his preaching of the Friday prayer to be broadcast on social networks in Abidjan.
Social distancing in a temple in Indonesia
Devotees wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19 practice social distancing while praying at a temple in Surabaya on May 7 as Buddhists celebrate Vesak Day.
Alone in a basilica in Italy
A woman prays inside Santa Maria in Trastevere Basilica on May 10 in Rome. Italy has eased its movement restrictions after a two-month lockdown.
Safety measures at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome
A nun undergoes body-temperature scanning while going through security to access St. Peter's Square and Basilica on May 18 in the Vatican.
Portraits of parishioners in Switzerland
An altar boy stands in the central aisle of the Basilica of Neuchatel. Pews display the portraits of 400 parishioners unable to attend mass due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
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Protecting the Buddha in Bangkok, Thailand
A face mask is placed on the face of a giant Buddha statue at Wat Nithet Rat Pradit temple in Pathum Thani outside Bangkok on May 12.
Every little bit helps in India
A young volunteer wipes off the rainwater at the Golden Temple complex during the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of the coronavirus on May 14 in Amritsar, India.
Prayers and reflections in India
A Sikh devotee pays his respects from afar on the anniversary of Guru Amar Das at the Golden Temple.
Buddhists and Hindus pray together in Sri Lanka
A Buddhist monk (center-left) seated next to a Hindu priest (center-right) gives a sermon as Buddhist and Hindu devotees pray on Vesak Day, a festival also known as Buddha Jayanti to commemorate the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha, at the Sri Gnanabairava Swami Hindu temple in Colombo.
New sanitation practices in India
A volunteer of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal sanitizes the Hanuman temple in New Delhi.
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Sanitizing the sacred in India
A municipal corporation worker sanitizes a temple on Purulia Road in Ranchi, India.
Distant prayer outside a closed synagogue in Israel
Jewish men wearing the tallit, a traditional Jewish prayer shawl, and the tefillin (or phylacteries), a small black leather box containing scrolls of parchment with verses from the Torah, pray keeping distance from each other outside their closed synagogue in Netanya.
Protected prayers in Brazil
Members of the Church of the International Reconstruction Ministry in protective suits pray for a person through a drive-in of prayer.
A new door policy in Mexico City
The Rev. Esteban Lopez wears a face mask as he checks the temperature of the people before entering the Sagrada Familia Church in Mexico City.
Evening communion in cars in New Mexico
Father Christoper Williams gives communion to parishioners in their cars outside of the Basilica of San Albino on May 2 in Mesilla, New Mexico.
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A return to prayer in Florida
Members of the Potential Church in Cooper City, Florida, pray together after the church opened its doors on May 24 to a select group of people with safety measures in place.
Solitude inside a chapel in Boston
Mario Carvalho prays inside the Blessed Sacrament Chapel attached to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, which has roped off pews to cut down on the number of people who can be inside at one time, part of a social distancing measure.
Queuing at the Vatican
People line up in respect of security distancing to access St. Peter's Basilica on May 18.