Washington National Cathedral moves all Christmas services online amid COVID spike
WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - Washington National Cathedral has announced all its Christmas services will be virtual this year due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the District.
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Dean of the Washington National Cathedral Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith sent out a letter Wednesday night informing the public of the changes.
"As one of the largest churches in America, we routinely welcome more than 15,000 people to celebrate the Christmas holiday. However, given the spike in infections, I simply cannot justify gathering massive crowds as the public health situation worsens around us," the letter reads.
All Cathedral services will move online during the holiday season and the building will be closed to visitors.
READ MORE: DC to require proof of vaccination for restaurants, bars, other indoor venues
The Cathedral intends on reopening at a socially distanced reduced capacity on Jan. 9.
"While I am disappointed not to be able to gather in person, this pandemic has already taught us how to join together as an online community. These bonds of connection extend beyond our walls and give us ways to gather safely, even across vast distances. As the world shifts around us, I believe we need to be responsible and responsive. It is better to pause now and celebrate later than to celebrate now and be filled with regret later," the letter says.
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The decision comes on the same day that D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the District will soon require proof of vaccination for restaurants, bars, nightclubs, indoor cultural and entertainment facilities and other venues.