Church bells will ring virtually this Christmas for most churches, as the coronavirus spikes rage on in Erie County.

The number of covid cases in Erie County sits at nearly 10,000. Derek Sanford is the lead pastor at Grace Church. For months now Grace Church hosts virtual services every Sunday here on WICU. Christmas mass will also be virtual.

"Now people can join virtually literally from all over the world. We really feel like this month we can sow seeds of hope into the next year that will make 2021 a little different than 2020 hopefully," said Derek Sanford, Lead Pastor at Grace Church.

While Pastor Sanford is staying optimistic, people are still struggling to come to terms with this new normal. Anne-Marie Welsh is the Director of Communications for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie. Welsh spoke with church members first hand on how they're feeling.

"Many people are unemployed they're literally hungry and people have lost numbers and it is a different moment,” said Anne-Marie Welsh, Director of Communications of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie.

While life is certainly different this year, Welsh also encourages using available resources to worship.


“Have a little spiritual side to your Christmas right in your house this year,” Welsh added.

Click the links below for more information on upcoming Christmas services.