Before COVID-19's arrival affected churches, Palm Sunday meant pews filled with people like Fernando Rios.
"This is a very meaningful palm for us. For us as Christians and Catholics, it represents when Jesus came to Jerusalem and we were prepared to honor him. It was actually a ritual that we maintained until now," said Rios outside The Holy Name of Jesus cathedral.
The cathedral's Vicar General, Monsignor David Brockman, agrees: "Palm Sunday is reminiscent of that day when Jesus entered into Jerusalem. They were claiming him as the king and laying palm branches on the ground as he entered into Jerusalem."
This year, with celebrants wearing PPE and everyone attending Mass entering the building masked, Rios said "Little by little, I'm happy to see all the group congregated, all the brothers and sisters congregated and making this a big, big celebration for our God."
Jose Sanchez feels renewed after receiving his palm during Mass.
"Very spiritual. I really liked it. First time doing it at the cathedral here," Sanchez said. "Glad the bishop was here with us today."
Everyone who returned to a physical church this Palm Sunday looks forward to they day when COVID is no longer a heath threat, and they can have services inside a full house of worship again.
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