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Palm will be distributed in Diocese of Wilmington after crisis ends, but not on Palm Sunday, Bishop Malooly says

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Bishop Malooly blesses the palm at St. Hedwig Church in Wilmington during the 2019 CYM pilgrimage, April 13, 2019. Photo/Don Blake

As the coronavirus illness has scuttled everyday life, so too has it altered standard ways of observing Holy Week.

With public Mass not being celebrated for the foreseeable future, Palm Sunday will come and go without the distribution of palm in the Diocese of Wilmington. Bishop Malooly made the announcement in a statement Monday.

In light of restrictions in Maryland and Delaware, the distribution of palm is not to take place in any form, the bishop said.

“Parishes that are able to can keep the palm in a cool, dry place and distribute them after restrictions are lifted,” the bishop said.

No public Masses will be held in Delaware or Maryland’s Eastern Shore while the nation confronts the threat of coronavirus, Bishop Malooly announced March 15.

At the advice of government officials, and after consultation with medical professionals, the bishop made the decision that went in effect March 15 and until further notice to help safeguard the public and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“We do not take this action lightly and without prayerful consideration,” Bishop Malooly said earlier this month. “We must put the health and well-being of our parishioners first. I invite the faithful to stay connected to their parish community electronically, and to participate in Mass via television and the Internet, during this challenging time.”

The Diocese of Wilmington has set up a website – cdow.org/coronavirus – with information for Catholics in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore.