Palms and Parishioners Back in Church for Palm Sunday in the Diocese of Brooklyn

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Holy Week, palm sunday, Queens, NY

By Emily Drooby

For 43 years, Anna King has come to St. James Cathedral Basilica. However, she hasn’t been able to come for the past year.

“We were all confined to our homes last year,” Anna said. “This year, we are able to come out.”

Now that Anna’s vaccinated, she’s back in church just in time for Palm Sunday.

“And it feels good to get back to church,” Anna said.

Anna told Currents News that she couldn’t miss another Palm Sunday after the pandemic made it impossible for her to attend last year.

“This is always a special day,” Anna said. “It’s the start of Holy Week, commemorating the triumphant arrival of Christ in Jerusalem, days before he was crucified.”

But for parishioners like Anna, this year felt extra special. After nearly two years, they were allowed back in the pews as Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio celebrated Palm Sunday Mass.

“It feels good that we have been able to come back,” Bishop DiMarzio said. “It was a difficult year and last Lent was kind of a virtual Lent. We couldn’t participate in all of the things that we normally do, so it was really different.”

Last year’s Holy Week fell just after New York City shut down to combat the pandemic, which meant there was no procession or palms.

“I love the church, I love Palm Sunday,” said long-time parishioner Isabel Navarro. “And it was very sad. We just sat at home. It was just at the beginning of the pandemic. Last year was a little rough, a little sad, but like I said, this year we are making progress and it’s getting better.”

This year, not everything was the same: there was no procession, but they did hand out palms. Still, parishioners were overjoyed to be back in church for Palm Sunday – or Passion Sunday – for the first time since 2020.