By Melissa Butz
ROME — Due to the global pandemic, the pope’s Good Friday and Easter services will take place inside St. Peter’s Basilica. Pope Francis will lead the events without the presence of pilgrims.
On Holy Thursday, the Chrism Mass will not take place. It has been postponed until after the pandemic. It normally takes place Thursday morning.
Later that night, the pope will celebrate Holy Thursday Mass from the Vatican at 6 p.m., instead of going to a prison or another facility, like he normally does. The washing of the feet will also not take place.
Likewise, on Good Friday, the pope will venerate the Cross alone in St. Peter’s Basilica at 6 p.m. He will prostrate himself before the crucifix, to meditate on the Lord’s death.
The Way of the Cross will also be prayed from the basilica at 9 p.m., Rome time. They are traditionally prayed by Pope Francis on Good Friday from the Colosseum.
This year the texts reflect the lives of 14 people touched by crime. They include victims, a mother of a prisoner, a prison guard, and a priest who was wrongly accused and freed after eight years in prison. Five prisoners from the “Due Palazzi” House of Detention in Padua, also reflect on their life. The meditations were compiled by the prison chaplain, Fr. Marco Pozza and volunteer Tatiana Mario.
The Easter Vigil (9 p.m., Rome time) will not include the candle-lit procession with all pilgrims at the beginning, nor will the pope baptize Catholics into the faith. Pope Francis will celebrate alone inside St. Peter’s Basilica.
Easter Sunday Mass (11 a.m., Rome time) will be live-streamed to show the papal celebration of the Eucharist without any pilgrims. At the end, the pope will pray the Regina Coeli and give the Urbi et Orbi blessing for the whole world.
All events will be live-streamed from Rome Reports’ website. (ia/online sources)