Church bells on Palm Sunday comfort the faithful during COVID-19 closures


KINGSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) “We can’t maybe wave our palms or wave like we usually do in church but the bells are our figurative way of waving, saying he’s here. He’s coming,” said Brian Wallace, pastor at Dorranceton United Methodist Church.

Instead of celebrating Palm Sunday in church, many had to celebrate at home. But churches under the Diocese of Scranton still brought their surrounding communities together by ringing their church bells for a minute at noon.

“We’re hoping that people just take a second if they hear the bells, to say a quick prayer. To pray for the people that are impacted for this virus,” said Eric Deabill, spokesperson for the Diocese of Scranton.

The bells also are a way to give comfort.

“It’s a way to show everyone we are still here, even though we are sheltered in place let’s say we are still here to help each other,” Wallace said.

Deabill says around the world, this Holy Week will be unlike any Holy Week ever seen.

“Our masses are still suspended. Many of our church buildings are closed, even for private individual prayer now. But still we are able to connect,” Deabill said.

“To come into this holy week from Palm Sunday, it’s reminding each other, even though we are in a different time, it is the same thing where we can still lean into our faith. And we’ve been blessed by technology where we can still communicate with each other,” Wallace said.

Dorranceton United Methodist Church found other ways to connect with worshipers. On Saturday, they put palms on its surrounding fence, called the giving wall, for people to take.

“You know making sure they were sanitized and everything we were supposed to. We put them out on the wall so that people to just come by and remember and take with them,” Wallace said.

“It’s been humbling to see just how much the faithful, here in the Diocese of Scranton and really throughout the country, has been able to embrace this change,” Deabill said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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