Coronavirus Across America: Worship In A Time Of Pestilence "The church will never close in this country because the church is not a building ... It is a gathering of people," says Rev. Angela Denker.

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Coronavirus Across America: Worship In A Time Of Pestilence

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Coronavirus Across America: Worship In A Time Of Pestilence

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Coronavirus Across America: Worship In A Time Of Pestilence

Coronavirus Across America: Worship In A Time Of Pestilence

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/823059766/823082678" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Parishioners at Santuario Nacional de Nuestra Señor de la Caridad in Miami practice social distancing at Mass. EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images

Parishioners at Santuario Nacional de Nuestra Señor de la Caridad in Miami practice social distancing at Mass.

EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images

For almost any faith, religious services typically require a gathering.

Jewish tradition says you need a quorum of 10 before worship can take place. In Islam, Friday prayers should be held somewhere open and accessible to all. Communion usually requires worshippers to drink from the same cup and take bread from the hands of a priest.

Social distancing is disrupting a lot of the familiar parts of life, and weekly worship is no exception. You won't find much advice on how to stream services in scripture.

So, what happens to congregations that can't congregate? And how are religious organizations providing community support right now, when sending out volunteers might do more harm than good?

To talk about those questions and more, we spoke with Rev. Angela Denker, of Grace Lutheran Church in Brownton, Minnesota, Senior Rabbi Shira Stutman of Sixth and I Synagogue in Washington, D.C., and Imam Abdullah Al-Mahmudi of the Muslim Community Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

1A Across America is funded through a grant from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. CPB is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967 that is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting.

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