MILWAUKEE — Many people are returning to Christmas Eve services in person for the first time since the pandemic.
At All Saints Cathedral in downtown Milwaukee, parishioners showed proof of vaccination upon entry. It's a rule Father Kevin Carroll put in place as a way to help protect against the spread of Covid-19.
"A lot of older people, people with kids, and we felt if we created this environment where they had a higher degree of safety than they might in other places, they might be more confident coming out to worship on Christmas Eve," Father Carroll said. "So we're thrilled, we're thrilled people are here."
It's the first Christmas they can worship together in person, and some say the vaccine requirement puts them at ease.
"Just seemed to be the right thing to do, while we're sharing in the yuletide season, we're doing it in a safe way," said Ben Rader.
"I love coming to services here and to be with people I love in the church," Mary White said.
All Saints is still offering live streamed services as well.
Over at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, parishioners returned for a special Christmas service since the fire in 2018.
"This is our first Christmas here back in the building, and it means so much to our congregation," said Rev. Matthew Douglas Peters.
The chapel is underneath the church. That's where the congregation has been worshipping as crews continue to restore the building above it. The church was built in the 1800s.
"It's very special to be able to come back to our church after the fire, we had to go to other churches," said parishioner Rosemary Miles. "And now to come back home...eventually we will be up in the sanctuary again."