Tallahassee churches adjust to new reopening guidelines

Posted at 7:24 PM, May 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 06:20:13-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) - — Worshipers are back at church Mother's Day Sunday now that the safer-at-home ban is lifted.

There were measures against COVID-19 around every corner at the first public mass back at Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More. From a sign-up sheet to maintain capacity inside, to replacing song books with prayers during service and social distancing between pews.

Congregants said they're excited to be back because the online services just weren't the same.

"You feel like you're not integrated," said Thomas Bumgarten. "You can't come and be with your parishioners. It's really important for me to go to mass and receive the sacraments and then to be with my fellow parishioners."

Some other places across town, like Restoration Place Tallahassee, said they want to wait a little bit longer before opening back up.

RPT Pastor Richard Ledford led services online Sunday morning. It's something he's been doing since April. Ledford said, with restrictions like limited capacity, the church would rather hold off for now.

"All of our leaders that we've talked to and our staff feel like the prudent thing to do is give it a few more weeks, make sure there's not a second wave that comes, so that we have everybody as safe as possible," said Ledford.

The Co-Cathedral St. Thomas More Archdiocese said worshipers are not obligated to attend on Sunday and can attend mass on other days of the week to limit attendance. Masses will also continue to be streamed online.