DEPEW, N.Y. (WIVB)–It’s a rare sight these days to see cars in the parking lot here at st. John’s Lutheran Church in Depew. Many churches no longer have in-person services or mass, making this palm Sunday very unusual.
“It’s very hard, it’s very hard and I miss it so much being in church I really do. It gives me so much and not being here it’s just not the same,” said church member Pamela Bloom.
Pastor Galen Purpura says these different times call for a different approach.
“We wanted to give our folks an opportunity to receive the palm branches which are an important part, an important symbol for the start of Holy Week.”
So on this Palm Sunday, while wearing gloves and keeping a safe distance, he offered to drive-thru palm branches.
Many church members say it’s a major change from last year, but they’re grateful to still take part.
While they can’t physically be in church, they’re finding other ways to worship.
“Pastor has been doing podcasts, we’ve been able to watch him on the podcasts and stuff like that so we’ve been able to see him and get the word of the Lord out there,” said church member Marty Wisniewski.
Pastor Purpura says many people look forward to this day and these palms serve as a symbol during these trying times.
“Palm branches served as a symbol of strength under pressure and so with that symbolism, I thought that was especially relevant today. Whatever the season of pressure might be, and as we endure this coronavirus we’re reminded that we have strength through our faith in Christ.”