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First United Methodist Church continues holiday traditions

Holiday celebrations look very different this year. With COVID-19, new practices have been put in place across Beaufort County to continue traditions that spread holiday cheer.

First United Methodist Church of Washington has committed to putting on a service that focuses on the joy of the season while keeping the safety of everyone involved in mind. Music director Susan Crawford and parishioner Alma Friedman are working together on this year’s Christmas pageant, entitled “The Living Creche”, which is set to be performed on Sunday, December 13, 2020.

“It is the story of Jesus’ birth with very familiar carols and scripture readings all together. It’s a combination of lessons and carols,” said Crawford. “I picked it because it can be done with a very small number of people. We have not been able to hold our regular choir rehearsals since the end of March. I had to be sure it didn’t involve too many singers and that the singers could be spaced out.”

Crawford, along with three other members of the church, will be featured in a quartet throughout the performance. A small group of guest instrumentalists will accompany the singers.

“I needed it to be more of a chamber ensemble instead of a huge cantata with a full choir and a bunch of musicians,” said Crawford.

Attendance for the event is also being limited as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19.

“Every other row is roped off and masks are mandatory to attend the service,” said Friedman. Despite the limited capacity, steps are being taken to include as many worshipers as possible.

“It will be recorded and will be on the church’s website because we still have a lot of people who usually come to the traditional service that are still afraid to get out and be in the church,” said Crawford. “Hopefully, this will be able to reach many different age groups that might not be able to come to the event in person.”

“The Living Creche” will be presented at the 11:15 a.m. worship service on Sunday, December 13, 2020 in the sanctuary at First United Methodist Church of Washington. The performance is anticipated to last around 35 minutes. Masks and social distancing are required and will be enforced.