By Mike Cugno

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s Palm Sunday, but services across South Florida and the country are much different than people are used to.

Pastors and rabbis are finding creative ways to reach their congregations during the coronavirus outbreak.

Rabbi Andrew Jacobs of Ramat Shalom uses the video-conferencing service Zoom.

At nearby St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church, the Reverend Albert Cutié holds mass on Facebook Live and the church website.

“It’s completely new for us. I think most synagogues and churches are finding it very challenging to bring people together,” said Cutié. “My biggest concern is the elderly and those living alone. I don’t want them to feel alone.”

Cutié says 40% to 60% of his church members should be online for this morning’s services.

The Archdiocese of Miami announced it would also be streaming this year’s Palm Sunday mass on Facebook Live.

Led by Archbishop Thomas Wenski, the service is being streamed from St. Mary’s Cathedral.

“Because of the need for everyone to observe extreme social distance, and to follow civil authorities’ instructions to remain at home as much as possible to mitigate the risks of spreading the virus, it is not prudent for parishes to plan any activity that would encourage people to leave their homes,” Archbishop Wenski said. “Therefore, parishes are not to offer ‘drive through’ palms, confessions or Holy Communion or any similar type of activity.”

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