Pope Francis celebrated the Easter Vigil on Saturday under Corona conditions, as he did last year. Because of the restrictions in place in Italy, the Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica was brought forward to 7:30 p.m., as a curfew is in effect from 10 p.m., as it has been for months.
The whole of Italy is also considered a Red Zone with the strictest Corona rules over the Easter period from April 3 to 5. Most of the same restrictions apply in the Vatican City State as in the Italian capital, Rome. Only a few dignitaries and faithful were present at the service in the huge St. Peter’s Basilica, which holds tens of thousands of visitors. Some of the Mass was shortened.
During the Easter Vigil, Christians commemorate the resurrection of Jesus. During the celebration, the Paschal Candle – the light of Christ – is carried into St. Peter’s Basilica, which is usually dark. It is also the celebration when church bells ring again, after traditionally remaining silent since Maundy Thursday. Easter is the most important religious feast for Christians.
“There is always a possibility of a new start, regardless of our defeats. Everyone knows the wreckage of their own heart. Even with the debris in our hearts, we can build a work of art. In these dark months of the pandemic, the Lord exhorts us never to lose hope,” the pope said. Francis called on the faithful to “let ourselves be surprised by the ways of God.” God calls us to let ourselves be surprised. “Faith is alive and not a childhood memory, ” the Catholic Church leader said.
On Holy Thursday, Francis celebrated the Chrism Mass together with about 200 faithful in St. Peter’s Basilica. The most important item on the program on Good Friday was the Stations of the Cross in the square in front of St. Peter’s Basilica. On Easter Sunday, Francis plans to celebrate Easter Mass and offer the blessing “Urbi et Orbi” (“For the city and the world”). Because of the Corona pandemic, the Mass (11:00 a.m.) in St. Peter’s Basilica will take place without the faithful.
- source: APA/picture: vaticannews.va
This post has already been read 804 times!