To the delight of You Tube watchers, the Palm Sunday march from the Newton Green up to Christ Episcopal Church was broadcast on Sunday morning.
"The church is closed to public worship," said parishioner Lisa Pachnos, videographer for the event. "This was a gathering of four people: the three of them from the same family and the forth for the purposes of shooting the video for You Tube. All of us maintained our proper social distance."
To ensure that no crowd would be attracted to the Green, the small group gathered at the crack of dawn on Saturday rather than on Palm Sunday itself.
Passers-by were confused, with reactions like, "Uh oh, it's Palm Sunday -- I should be in church!"
After a brief Liturgy of the Palms, Father Robert Griner and his sons Jesse and Elliott, serving as acolytes, processed from the Green to the church to hold the You Tube service.
Traditionally, a large group gathers on the Green to listen to the liturgy and collect the palms handed out, with the Newton police as escorts to the church. But in the time of COVID-19, the church found another way to keep the tradition going.
"It was so refreshing to watch the procession on You Tube and feel a lightness in my spirit amidst all of the stress about the coronavirus," said Kathy Hoyer, a local massage therapist who has temporarily closed her business because of the virus. She's also a member of the church and choir.
"I miss being among my church family each week, but our community is stronger than physical bonds and we are connecting in many virtual way," she said.
"I miss being among my church family each week, but our community is stronger than physical bonds and we are connecting in many virtual way." --Kathy Hoyer