NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - After a year of congregations watching online, churches are opening their doors for Easter services this weekend. 

Around this time last year churches were closing like everything else just weeks into the COVID spread.

It forced many to celebrate Easter, the biggest day on the church calendar, at home, and not at church.

For most of 2020, church buildings were empty and online services were the new routine for many people.

As places start to reopen, so are churches, just in time to celebrate Easter, a year after watching from home. 

"This is special this Easter," Northfield Church volunteer Bethany Billingsley said. "Until something is taken away you don't realize how special it is to you."

From March until late July, Northfield Church met virtually. After four months, they finally regathered together, outside.

"We did outdoor worship," Tom Gaddon, pastor at Northfield Church said. "On the hill behind our building, it was an incredible time. People showed up in pouring rain that night.

The want to be together, in community, was the driving force to reopening the church.

"The bible says people are the church so it's nice to get everybody back together worshipping together," Northfield Church volunteer Matthew Cook said.

This weekend, Northfield Church will have five different services starting Friday night until Sunday, allowing for plenty of space to social distance. 

"All volunteers are temperature checked, wearing masks, chairs are distanced," Cook said.

"I would not hesitate to bring friends, family, children," Billingsley said.

A step towards normalcy, that will be redefined.

"We are not looking to get back to anything," Gaddon said. "We are looking to see what God has in store for our future."

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