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Selfie prayers and livestream sermons: Churches adapt to social distancing

Churches across the globe inspire each other to experiment with new ways of performing service during the pandemic.
Published 10 Apr, 2020 12:30am
The evangelical pastor Klaus-Martin Pothmann stands in front of photos of believers who were asked to send in pictures to represent them among the pews at the St. Pankratius church in Hamm, western Germany, on April 9, 2020, due to the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. — AFP
The evangelical pastor Klaus-Martin Pothmann stands in front of photos of believers who were asked to send in pictures to represent them among the pews at the St. Pankratius church in Hamm, western Germany, on April 9, 2020, due to the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. — AFP

Dean at Vor Frue Kirke ( Church of Our Lady) Anders Gadegaard has just performed a livestream Good Thursday worship in front of more than one hundred selfies all sent by the congregation via the internet, in Copenhagen, Thursday April 9, 2020. The church in Copenhagen was inspired by an Italian church in the way of performing todays service as a way to almost be face to face. — AP
Dean at Vor Frue Kirke ( Church of Our Lady) Anders Gadegaard has just performed a livestream Good Thursday worship in front of more than one hundred selfies all sent by the congregation via the internet, in Copenhagen, Thursday April 9, 2020. The church in Copenhagen was inspired by an Italian church in the way of performing todays service as a way to almost be face to face. — AP

The Church of Our Lady (Vor Frue Kirke) is pictured after Dean Anders Gadegaard performed  the Maundy Thursday mass in livestream in front of more than one hundred selfies, images sent by the congregation members via internet and positioned on the church pews, in Copenhagen, on April 9, 2020. — AFP
The Church of Our Lady (Vor Frue Kirke) is pictured after Dean Anders Gadegaard performed the Maundy Thursday mass in livestream in front of more than one hundred selfies, images sent by the congregation members via internet and positioned on the church pews, in Copenhagen, on April 9, 2020. — AFP

Dean at Vor Frue Kirke ( Church of Our Lady) Anders Gadegaard after he performed a livestream Good Thursday worship in Copenhagen, Thursday April 9, 2020. — AP
Dean at Vor Frue Kirke ( Church of Our Lady) Anders Gadegaard after he performed a livestream Good Thursday worship in Copenhagen, Thursday April 9, 2020. — AP

Catholic Adriana Brenes prays during a live streamed mass as photos of the faithful are displayed over the church's benches at the Nuestra Senora de Fatima church, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in San Jose, Costa Rica April 8, 2020. — Reuters
Catholic Adriana Brenes prays during a live streamed mass as photos of the faithful are displayed over the church's benches at the Nuestra Senora de Fatima church, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in San Jose, Costa Rica April 8, 2020. — Reuters

Vicar Kerstin Gommel, right, celebrates the Maundy Thursday Service besides Dean Jana Petri, left, and youth pastor Anna Boeck, center, in the empty protestant church St. Marien in Suhl, Germany, Thursday, April 9, 2020. The church members are only present symbolically because their portrait photos are only fixed to the pews. Due to the coronavirus no services are held these days. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. — AP
Vicar Kerstin Gommel, right, celebrates the Maundy Thursday Service besides Dean Jana Petri, left, and youth pastor Anna Boeck, center, in the empty protestant church St. Marien in Suhl, Germany, Thursday, April 9, 2020. The church members are only present symbolically because their portrait photos are only fixed to the pews. Due to the coronavirus no services are held these days. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. — AP

Priest Victor Manuel Jimenez sits among photos of the faithful displayed on the church's benches before the live stream of a mass at the Nuestra Senora de Fatima church, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in San Jose, Costa Rica April 8, 2020. — Reuters
Priest Victor Manuel Jimenez sits among photos of the faithful displayed on the church's benches before the live stream of a mass at the Nuestra Senora de Fatima church, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in San Jose, Costa Rica April 8, 2020. — Reuters

People attend a Holy Thursday Mass held by Father Fabio Vassallo in a nearly empty church, with people replaced by drawings done by children of members of the congregation decorating the pews, as Italy celebrates Easter under lockdown due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Catania, Italy, April 9, 2020. — Reuters
People attend a Holy Thursday Mass held by Father Fabio Vassallo in a nearly empty church, with people replaced by drawings done by children of members of the congregation decorating the pews, as Italy celebrates Easter under lockdown due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Catania, Italy, April 9, 2020. — Reuters

Father Fabio Vassallo poses with drawings done by children of members of the congregation decorating the pews, ahead of a Holy Thursday Mass in an empty church, as Italy celebrates Easter under lockdown. — Reuters
Father Fabio Vassallo poses with drawings done by children of members of the congregation decorating the pews, ahead of a Holy Thursday Mass in an empty church, as Italy celebrates Easter under lockdown. — Reuters