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Bishop’s Directives for Distribution of Palms

January 2021

Ample instructions for the Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem are found in the Roman Missal for the celebration of Palm Sunday. Three Forms are provided for this observance. Given the circumstances of the COVID pandemic, and in order to preserve the sign value of the blessing of palms, the liturgy should take place as follow:

The priest greets the people, blesses the palms while reciting the prayer, and reads the Gospel. This may occur at the main entrance of the Church, or in front of the altar. The priest then proceeds to the chair for the collect. The Mass continues as usual.

The palms are NOT to be distributed to the people before the blessing. They should be made available at the conclusion of Mass. This may be done by having them placed near the exits or having persons (wearing masks and gloves) handing them to the faithful as they exit the church.

This will preclude people leaving palm branches in the pews which interrupts sanitizing procedures between Masses. It is the safest way to minimize handling of palms by multiple persons.

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