MERIDEN — Despite a pandemic and escalating unemployment, some city residents cast their sights toward something uplifting on Saturday — their faith.
Holy Angels, St. Joseph and Our Lady of Mount Carmel churches brought Palm Sunday services to the people. The three churches are part of Our Lady Queen of Angels parish.
The catch? Parishioners would be collecting palms via drive-through.
“The Department of Public Health sent out guidelines on Friday about how to safely distribute palms,” said the Rev. Thomas Sievel. “There’s no contact physically, people stay in their cars...there’s no contact of any kind.”
Additionally, those offering the drive-through service were equipped with face masks and were at stations at least six feet apart.
Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week for the Christian faith. It’s celebrated the Sunday before Easter and commemorates the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem before he was crucified.
Upon his arrival into the city, people threw clothes, small branches and palm fronds at his feet in homage.
“Hopefully this is uplifting and gives hope at a time when we really need it,” said Dan Gaffney, a member of the parish steering committee. “I think people are looking for good news and to see that in the midst of so many closures that we’re still open...is hopefully uplifting for a lot of people.”
The parish was also collecting for its Easter food drive. Since masses have been canceled, Gaffney said, the church decided to be proactive about collecting.
“Food is the greatest need right now,” Sievel said.