Valley Catholic church adapting Palm Sunday protocols amid COVID-19 pandemic

With churches closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and Easter just over a week away, some are coming up with other plans to help people worship, including for Palm Sunday.

"This will be a Holy Week that they’ll never forget. The first time they won’t be able to gather as a congregation," said Father Grag Schlarb.

For Catholic faithfuls with the Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Scottsdale and other practicing Catholics around the state, Holy Week and Easter must go on. COVID-19 may have forced some changes, but it doesn’t mean things have to be any less blessed.

Father Schlarb and other members of the church have put together "holy water bottles," asking church members to bless their own palms. Also new is a virtual flipbook and Facebook Live videos for Holy Week celebrations.

"We’re trying to help families as much as possible who are celebrating from home," said Father Schlarb.

In a new era where technology has played a bigger role in all aspects of life, religion is no exception. In a time when many are relying on faith for strength, many can still their prayer from their bedside, or maybe through a Zoom call.

“We have to be safe, keep our distance. But we can’t be afraid. We pray for those people in healthcare, we pray for the people sick from the virus," said Father Schlarb.

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