On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom closed indoor operations for several businesses and organizations, including places of worship.
While many churches have already transitioned to online or outdoor services, the order put some reopening plans on hold.
Monsignor Richard Martini of St. Joseph Church in Carpinteria said his congregation is “ready to do whatever helps us get over the pandemic.”
Monsignor Martini said the Catholic church, located at 1532 Linden Ave., reopened for Mass and daily personal private prayer on June 2.
Church staff allowed 100 people into the pews for Sunday Mass to maintain six feet of social distance.
“Our commitment to Christ and his commandment to love one another compels us to look out for each other and to take the necessary precautions to keep each other safe from this virus. Since the beginning of June, we had been conducting Mass in our church with precautionary protocols. It was very safe and the number of worshippers was limited to 100. We will now pivot and move the Sunday services outdoors to our expansive, grassy field,” Monsignor Martini said.
Church priests will hold daily Mass Monday through Friday without a congregation. The church will livestream and record the Mass in English at 7:30 a.m. and in Spanish at 6:30 p.m.
Priests will hold Mass outdoors on Sunday at 7 a.m. in Spanish, 9 a.m. in English and 11 p.m. in Spanish.
Monsignor Martini said the church will use precautionary protocols, such as temperature checks, and require all parishioners to wear face coverings and sanitize their hands. Church staff will escort parishioners to marked locations to maintain social distance. Parishioners will not sing, but they will still be able to receive Holy Communion.
“We continue to pray for all to be spared the worst of this illness. And we ask the Lord to heal those who have been afflicted by the virus,” Monsignor Martini said.
Trinity Episcopal Church, at 500 State St. in Santa Barbara, did not resume indoor worship during the COVID-19 reopening efforts.
“We’re not impacted by the new state COVID-19 orders. We continue to offer worship online, via Zoom,” The Rev. Elizabeth Molitors said.
Recorded services and instructions on how to log into the church’s Sunday livestream are available at https://trinitysb.ladiocese.org/
First Christian Church, located at 1550 S. College Drive in Santa Maria began celebrating indoors in June. Church staff enforced precautionary measures and gave attendees the option to sit outside.
Lead Pastor Jim Larrabee said the church will move services outdoors.
“While we might not agree with our governor‘s most recent COVID response, we do agree that people need to be safe,” he said. “We’ve checked with our local medical professionals and are following their recommendation to move all services outdoors.”