When the coronavirus pandemic forced churches across the country to stop hosting in-person services during the holiest time of the year, one priest from Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, came up with a unique way to keep the annual tradition of blessing Easter baskets alive.
Reverend Timothy Pelc put on his vestments, along with a face shield, mask, and latex gloves, and grabbed his squirt gun. He filled it with holy water and waited for members of his congregation to drive up with their Easter baskets.
Pelc had fun standing outside the church and spraying congregants and their Easter baskets with the holy water, all while maintaining social distancing guidelines.
St. Ambrose Church shared photos of Rev. Pelc spraying people and blessing the Easter baskets on Facebook back in April, and they recently went viral.
People from all over the world started commenting on the pictures, including some from the Vatican. Pelc told BuzzFeed News, he was concerned that officials in the Vatican might not like the idea of putting holy water into a squirt gun, but so far, he hasn't heard anything.
"It was a good news story, and people were in the mood for something like that," Pelc said. "It was big in Ukraine, and the Germans are funny — that led to a whole sub-discussion about the types of water pistols," he added. "It even had two hits in the Vatican, which sort of concerned me, but I haven't heard anything yet."
Pelc said that his church is hoping to resume in-person services next week, but is not sure if the people in his parish are ready to return.
"People are saying they don't want to come out just yet," Pelc said. "There's still a lot of fear out there, and I don't blame them."
Photo: Facebook/St. Ambrose Parish