St. Mary’s holds Easter Procession through Washingtonville

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Parishioners of St. Mary's in Washingtonville participated in a "processional mass" on Easter Sunday.

WASHINGTONVILE – The COVID-19 pandemic has prohibited churches from holding traditional masses, and many have taken to holding mass using social media platforms.  Father Jeffrey Maurer wanted to give his St. Mary’s parishioners something different for Easter.

Working with parishioners Colin Schmitt, an NYS Assemblyman, and Washingtonville Mayor Joseph Bucco, a plan was developed for an Easter processional prayer service traveling throughout the town on Easter Sunday.  The Blooming Grove Police Department assisted by making sure that social-distancing protocols were followed.

Altar boys of St. Mary’s on Easter.

According to Father Maurer, three clergy members of St. Mary’s were driven in three separate vehicles, operated by members of the same family, over 90 miles of town roads, roughly following the elementary school bus routes, to deliver quick prayer sessions.

Making more than 65 stops, the clergy would stop, read from the Easter Gospel, deliver a one-minute sermon, allow for brief prayers in the presence of the Eucharist, receive a blessing, then the clergy would move to the next location.  Maurer said that in all, over one thousand people were able to enjoy the unique Easter celebration.  “All in all it was a memorable Easter for all of our folks and connected them to the Lord who’s Resurrection we celebrated yesterday in a new way,” said Father Maurer.