Churches observe Palm Sunday amid COVID-19

Coronavirus

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA)  — The coronavirus pandemic forcing people and churches in NWA to celebrate palm Sunday differently than usual.

St. Joseph Catholic Church volunteers in Fayetteville wearing gloves and masks as they hand out palms.

“This has been a tradition forever for me and that’s why I’m here, I want to participate. I want to be in the liturgical season,” said parishioner Eva Baltz

Palm Sunday marks the start of the holy week ahead of Easter and commemorates Jesus’ arrival to Jerusalem. Eva Baltz said it’s a sacred day for those of the Christian faith. 

“It’s just so wonderful to see so many people who have come out  and have shared our traditions and our customs with us.” 

In-person services have been suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic- so church leaders found another way for people to observe the holy day.

“With the social distancing that is here now and not being able to gather inside the church, Father Tyler put this together so we can all be a part of this procession,” said Bernie Baltz.

Palms have been distributed and parishioners are being asked to wave them out the window while they do the driving procession around the Barrington neighborhood.

Bernie said he’s not forgetting about those who cannot leave their home. “Some friends of ours who have self quarantined, I’m picking up some palms for them and taking it to their home.”

“To see the crowds we had, it was very exciting and it shows that our parishioners are very hungry for their catholic faith,” said Grand Knight, Joe Beffa.

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