Archbishop of Canterbury preaches caution during Christmas celebrations

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many activities this year. The church is not excluded. This years Christmas celebrations will also encounter a lot of hitches as people have been advised to consider health risks while trying to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ without observing COVID-19 guidelines.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has stated that the elderly and vulnerable churchgoers should have a rethink about the risk to themselves before going to church on Christmas Day. Welby made this statement on Sunday, December 20.  He said:
"Don't feel under compulsion. Do what is sensible. My mother, who is in her 90s, will not be going to church; Im sure, because its too dangerous. There are clergy, who have underlying health conditions, who will not be going to church."

The archbishop gave an alternative for people who want to partake in the Christmas celebrations and attend church services. He proposed that people who want to feel the impact of Christmas could ring up the Church of England Daily Hopeline, offering prayers, carols and talks specially for Christmas. In addition, he appealed to them to get out for fresh air, if possible, watch television and talk to people on the phone.

Welby also talked about individuals who have lost their loved ones to coronavirus on the BBCs Andrew Marr Show. According to the archbishop, it would be very hard, and pretending otherwise is not helpful. He continued:

"We have to face our losses, and unless in some way or other we make something of the memories, they attack us. Christian readings taught that darkness does not overcome the light. There is that light of memory, the light of hope. Share. Think about the person. Bring their memories back. Look for the healing that is there.

"Christmas was not cancelled; only the celebrations were cancelled. Look forward to Easter, when Jesus rose from the dead. This is a moment God is saying I am with you in the mess, and I have overcome the darkness. There is hope."

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