Palm Sunday, marks the beginning of Holy Week. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, and in North Texas, Christians attended services virtually.
At Wilshire Baptist Church, and churches around the country, doors were closed Sunday.
But there is still celebration inside homes and hearts, Wilshire Baptist Church Associate Pastor Mark Wingfield said.
“We made a little video that kids sent in, of them waving palm branches, and we put that together to make a processional video that was fun to watch,” associate pastor Mark Wingfield said.
Sunday, for the first time, the church had to readjust. Instead of live streaming, they pre-recorded Palm Sunday service.
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“For the past two weeks, our website has crashed, because of traffic,” Wingfield said.
He said church attendance was up.
He estimated 1,200-1,500 people will watch Sunday’s taped service.
“I think the number of people we’re reaching via video is actually larger than the number before coronavirus we were reaching in person,” Wingfield said.
The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas live-streamed Palm Sunday mass.
Despite empty streets and empty churches, Wingfield said the church has never felt more full.
“Some people say, we’re not going to have Easter this year, and the truth is, we’re going to have Easter this year. Easter happens wherever we are. And the church has never been a building. The church is people,” Wingfield said.
He said the church will prerecord next Sunday’s Easter service to avoid the website from crashing because of traffic.