The Pope will celebrate Holy Week and Easter without the presence of the faithful

The Pope will celebrate Holy Week and Easter without the presence of the faithful

The Prefecture of the Papal Household announced that “all liturgical celebrations of Holy Week will take place without the physical presence of the faithful” and that until 12 April the general audiences of the Holy Father and the Angelus recitals will be available only in live streaming. “

All the celebrations of Holy Week in the Vatican, therefore from Palm Sunday to Easter of Resurrection, including the via crucis on Good Friday, will be celebrated without the physical presence of the faithful to avoid further infections from Coronavirus. The Prefecture of the Papal Household, that is the office that directly oversees the public and private activities of the Pope, communicated this with a meager communiqué published almost secretly on its official website.

“The Prefecture of the Papal Household – the note reads – we would like to inform you that, due to the current international health emergency, all the Liturgical Celebrations of Holy Week will take place without the physical presence of the faithful. Furthermore, we inform you that until April 12th (the day on which Easter falls this year for the Catholic Church, ed) the General Audiences of the Holy Father and the Angelus recitals will be available only in live streaming on the official Vatican website. News. “

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It seems like a small thing, but it is not: the Vatican had to surrender to the evidence that the Coronavirus emergency will not have passed before the Easter holidays and therefore cannot put at risk tens of thousands of faithful who, like every year, would have flocked to the Vatican for the celebrations led by the Supreme Pontiff . It is conceivable that it was a very difficult decision for Francesco to make, who undoubtedly had the last word on the matter. Just two days ago the pontiff had made the faithful reopen the churches of Rome, which his vicar, Monsignor Angelo De Donatis, had closed to worship despite no prohibition in this sense had come from the Italian government.

Therefore, the Pope will celebrate “without the participation of the people”, as they say in the ecclesiastical language some of the most important liturgies of the Catholic Church: Easter, in fact, is the main feast of the year for believers. It will almost certainly skip the via crucis at the Colosseum, fixed appointment for the faithful, perhaps one of the most evocative events organized by the Church. It remains to be seen, however, how the Holy Thursday ceremony will be organized, in which, traditionally, the Pope washes the feet of twelve people, in memory of what Jesus Christ did two thousand years ago.

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