The annual event is Friday, April 10.

Additional guidelines are in place for “Carry the Cross,” which occurs on Good Friday, April 10.

The event features hundreds of Christians in Texas County who hold crosses from Licking to Cabool along U.S. 63.

On Friday, several guidelines were established to ensure the safety of the public in light of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping some parts of the country. There have been no confirmed cases of residents who live in Texas County.

The Houston Ministerial Alliance and founder of Carry The Cross, David Craig, believe several guidelines are necessary to insure the safety and health of participants:

•A 6 a.m. rally at Hiett Gymnasium is cancelled. Everyone should go directly to their locations at 7 a.m. Crosses will be in place as they have in past years.

These guidelines are in place as part of social distancing efforts at all locations:

•The number of cross holders in one location is limited to two people, if they are not members of the same household. These two are asked to practice social distancing as they stand with their cross.

•If you are standing with members of your household, limit your number to 10 people.

•If you planned to stand with a group of people, you can coordinate taking turns at particular locations; such as one family or two unrelated people standing from 7 to 9 .m. and others standing from 9 to 11 a.m. If you were standing with a large group and would like to secure more locations to accommodate your group, call First Baptist Church in Houston at 417-967-2297 or contact the “I carry the cross” Facebook page. There are plenty of locations available.

“Finally, being responsible during this season impacts our witness as a community of faith. Therefore, we are asking everyone wipe down their cross when arriving and leaving,” according to a statement issued Friday. “Please Clorox wipes, spray disinfectant to clean your cross. If your location is being filled in shifts by multiple people, please clean your cross before others tough it. Cleaning your cross at the end of your shift and at the end of Carry the Cross will protect everyone, including those picking up the crosses.”

“Carry the Cross is the most unifying expression of faith in our county every year,” said Pastor Bill Villapiano of Faith Fellowship. “This year we need a unified effort in following these guidelines as we present the Hope of the Cross on Good Friday.”

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