Documenting American religion in a time of pandemic

Pandemic Religion: A Digital Archive collects and preserves experiences and responses from individuals and religious communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please share anything that bears witness to your personal experiences, or that documents the activities and responses of your religious community. We invite contributions from people of any religious tradition, community, or perspective.

For Religious Communities. How is your religious community or institution adapting and responding during the COVID-19 pandemic? Upload materials such as sermons, photographs, bulletins, audio recordings, or share links to websites, video, and the like. Contribute your materials ⭢

For Individuals. What is your personal story? How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your religious beliefs and practices? Share a photograph, a screen shot, a video, or something else. Share your experience ⭢

Here are some ideas of what you could contribute:

  • Stories about how your religious practice has changed
  • Photos of you or your religious community practicing your religion
  • Communications within your religious community
  • Documents about decisions or changes your religious community has made
  • Links, recordings, or screenshots of religious practice moving to online spaces, such as video and social media
  • Stories about how you or your community is helping during, or being hurt by, the pandemic

If you have any questions, please contact us at pandemicreligion@gmail.com.

Recent contributions

  • Guidelines on Sacraments and Pastoral Care

    These guidelines were issued and updated by the Thomistic Institute, a Catholic academic group based in Washington, D.C., and their Working Group on Infectious Disease Protocols for Sacraments & Pastoral Care . The document continued to respond to the evolving COIVD-19 health crisis that dictated the style and size of masses across the United States. Among other changes, and in contrast to the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, the Thomistic Institute believed that priests could resume the placing of communion on the parishioner's tongue.
  • A Synopsis of Pastoral Considerations for the Reopening of Churches and the Resumption of Public Masses

    These guidelines were issued by the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions to help guide American dioceses in the reopening process after the COVID-19 shutdowns. The guidelines attempt to balance the desire for a return to in-person masses and the continued need to follow local public-health mandates.
  • United Methodist Church West Ohio Conference Guidelines for Online Communion

    This document set forth guidelines for local United Methodist Churches in the West Ohio Conference on how to conduct virtual communion. These guidelines were issued early on in the COVID-19 pandemic to explain the doctrine of "in extremis," which, according to the guidelines, allowed for digital communion where it had previously been condemned.
  • A Letter to the United Methodist Clergy of the Western Jurisdiction From the College of Bishops

    This letter from the United Methodist Church's (UMC) College of Bishops was an early response to the shutdowns caused by COVID-19. Specifically, it deals with subject of online communion and provides some initial guidelines to local churches for how best to transition to the virtual world. The Western jurisdiction of the UMC includes churches in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Guam, and other territory in the Pacific region.
  • Reflections on a Post-Pandemic Church from the Church of the Nazarene

    These reflections were issued by the Board of General Superintendents for the Church of the Nazarene and were meant to guide local churches as they began to regather in person following the relaxing of restrictions regarding social distancing and local gatherings.
  • Church of the Nazarene statement on coronavirus and guidelines for local churches

    This document was issued in early March by the Church of the Nazarene's Board of General Superintendents following the recognition that the Church was entering a time of "crisis." It gives general outlines for local churches to follow as they entered into a time of quarantine.
  • Statement on the 30th General Assembly from the Board of General Superintendents for the Church of the Nazarene

    A statement issued by the General Superintendents to the global Church of the Nazarene postponing the General Assembly due to COVID-19. Published in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Korean.
  • Rev. David Ensign Sermon, Burke Presbyterian Church, July 5, 2020

    A sermon for the 5th of July, 2020, in the midst of the racial reckoning of that summer.
  • Mount Jezreel Baptist Church

    Church has signs that show its COVID-19 response, including masks and social distancing
  • Multiple Signs Posted in St. Peter Church

    Multiple signs posted in St. Peter Church to help parishioners observe safety protocol for church gathering.
  • The Animals' Christmas: A Drive-Through Live Nativity

    On December 23, 2020, St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Reston, Virginia, presented The Animals' Christmas: A Drive-Through Live Nativity experience. From the warmth of one's vehicle, attendees heard the Christmas story told by the youth of the congregation and saw animals we expect to find at the manger. Through scripture, poetry and song - and with the help of a goat, a sheep, an ox, a donkey, and a camel - the youth provided narrated scenes surrounding the birth of Jesus. We had more than 500 attendees in a three-hour window. We learned that in the midst of the pandemic, people were hungry for a Christmas experience - an experience of pageantry and wonder, an experience of joy and hope - that connected with people of all ages. For Christians, Christmas is not only an essential 12-day season celebrating the birth of Jesus, it is an essential part of the Christian story and journey we must experience again and again, every year, as we grow and become more like the one whose birth we celebrate. So, finding a way to safely include so many from our community in the organization and production of such an event, and creating something safe, enjoyable, and meaningful for those who attended, was so important for us to do.
  • Baltimore Ceasefire 365, Interview #1

    Baltimore Ceasefire 365 offers a community based approach to gun violence reduction. Many crime rates have dropped in Baltimore during the pandemic, but gun violence continues. The goal of Baltimore Ceasefire 365 is for everyone in the city to commit to zero murders. We started by calling ceasefire weekends, where we ask everyone to be peaceful and celebrate life. In doing the outreach for ceasefire weekends, residents are: helping each other get the resources they need in their lives, having conversations with each other about how to handle conflict differently, and making commitments to one another to be non-violent in thoughts, words, and deeds, for AT LEAST the ceasefire weekend. When people are killed in Baltimore, we believe that their lives matter. We believe that the places where people are taken by violence should be Sacred Ground. We believe that just like somebody showed up to kill them, people should show up in that same space to send love and light to that person's spirit, to the community, and to their loved ones. During Sacred Space Rituals, people are invited to do whatever they believe will put love and light in the space. Baltimoreans show up to make sure that love has the last say in that space, how much the person matters has the last say in that space, and that murder does not have the last say. Baltimore Ceasefire 365 volunteers who have been trained to facilitate these Rituals are the people who schedule when they happen. Trained facilitators see who has been murdered, and check their calendars to see when they are available to bless the space. The CSRC grant will allow us to provide outreach materials, support families who lose loved ones to violence during ceasefire weekends, and to expand Baltimore's ability to address and heal the root causes and impacts of violence
Browse all contributions