Palm Sunday celebrated at a distance

Places of worship empty with stay-at-home the new norm, yet services go on

MIAMI, Fla. – Until old traditions can be resurrected, the faithful had to embark on the holiest week of the year in a whole new way.

With churches closing their doors to congregations because of coronavirus fears, they’re now holding streaming services inviting Christians to worship from the comfort of their homes.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski offered Palm Sunday Mass from Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Miami on Sunday, offering words to those who would usually find comfort congregating with others.

"We celebrate this Palm Sunday under unusual circumstances," said Wenski via livestream. "May our prayers bring us closer together even from a distance."

Other Catholic churches followed suit by streaming their services as did other Christian denominations.

'We're glad that each and every one of you today have gathered" was the message from the United Methodist Church of Miami.

And at the New Life Assembly in Pembroke Pines, the welcome was:

"We hope that you are all healthy and you are doing well."

Even Pope Francis celebrated Palm Sunday Mass inside a nearly empty Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Normally, tens of thousands would gather outside for outdoor mass. Instead, Pope Francis spoke to the faithful online, urging them to look at the real heroes who come to light these days -- the ones giving themselves in order to serve others.

This is also a holy week for Jews in our community and around the world, Passover meals no doubt will be shared using videoconferencing and Facetime between friends and family. Every year, the Seder dinner starts out with the best-known quote from the Pesach Haggadah: “Why is this night different from all other nights.”

No doubt that will take on a whole new meaning this year during the coronavirus pandemic.

RELATED: Local 10.com’s complete list of local places of worship services and ways to connect virtually.

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