Pope Francis will celebrate Easter Sunday Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in a service that will be shared on The Vatican News Website at 11 am local time (5 am ET). The service can also be live-streamed here. Fox News will also air live programming of the Mass on Easter Sunday.
Typically, thousands of people gather in St. Peter’s Square for Easter Sunday Mass. This year, only the pope’s aids and a handful of “invited religious and laypeople” will be present, according to NPR. They are all adhering to social distancing guidelines in light of the coronavirus pandemic that has resulted in over 100,000 deaths worldwide.
When Pope Francis spoke at the commencement of Holy Week, he acknowledged COVID-19, stating, “The tragedy we are experiencing summons us to take seriously the things that are serious, and not to be caught up in those that matter less; to rediscover that life is of no use if not used to serve others. May we reach out to those who are suffering and those most in need. May we not be concerned about what we lack, but what good we can do for others.”
The Way of the Cross Was Led by Two Groups on Good Friday
On Good Friday, the Way of the Cross was led by two groups, each of five people, representing prisoners and health workers, according to America Magazine.
The outlet reports, “The miraculous crucifix from the church of St. Marcello in Rome, which was attributed with helping end ‘the black plague’ in Rome in 1552, stood facing the pope, as a call to prayer to God to end this modern-day plague.”
For weeks, Pope Francis has expressed that he is particularly concerned about those prisoners in jail whose families cannot visit them due to the lockdown. “Let us pray today for our brothers and sisters who are in prison,” he said at the beginning of a morning Mass in mid-March. “They suffer so much because of the uncertainty of what will happen inside the prison and thinking about their families, wondering how they are, if someone is sick, if they lack something.”
Friday marked the first time since 1964 that the holiday was not celebrated at Rome’s Colosseum.
There Are 8 Reported Cases of Coronavirus in the Vatican
According to an article by Vatican News, there are eight reported cases of coronavirus in the Vatican. Of those, two are cured, one is recovering, two are in the hospital undergoing treatment, and three are without symptoms in mandatory self-quarantine.
The first case was reported at the end of March.
In early March, there were fears that Pope Francis had contracted the virus, as he was suffering from a cold, but a test for coronavirus came back negative.
When the pope visited an Italian TV Program recently, he was asked if this will be an Easter of peace. He replied, “Easter always ends in the Resurrection and in peace. This does not mean a happy ending, but a loving commitment that makes you tread a difficult path. But He trod it first. This comforts us and gives us strength.”