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Rhode Island Catholic churches are canceling their plans to offer a palm-tree pickup blessed for Palm Sunday because of the coronavirus home order, reports say.
Churches came up with the idea after being forced to cancel traditional Palm Sunday, Easter and other Holy Week services because of the virus and the ban on large gatherings.
Historic St. Mary’s Church in Newport said it would offer palm branches blessed with holy water – a Palm Sunday tradition in the Catholic Church – in the parking lot with minimal contact, reported on Saturday Patch Cranston newspaper.
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But Rhode Island’s chief Catholic bishop Thomas Tobin told pastors that the state health department and Governor Gina Raimondo had advised him against it, Patch said.
“Governor Raimondo and the Department of Health have ordered that palm branches are not available for individual picking in our churches this Sunday. I urge our parishes to comply, “Tobin said in a statement.
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“Sadder news. We cannot distribute Palm Branches this year due to the governor’s stricter regulations on HOME STAY, “said church pastor Reverend Kris von Maluski on Facebook. “God bless you and hang on !!! “
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“Once the packages of palm trees are opened, they immediately start to dry. But there is always a plan B. We will make small crosses from the blessed palm trees and distribute them to households once we are all back to normal. “
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He added: “God bless you and hang on !!! “