The ravaging COVID-19 Pandemic has forced Vatican to arrive at an unprecedented decision to do something different and extraordinary during year 2020 Holy week and Easter Sunday Mass. Reports revealed that authorities in Vatican have announced that all Holy Week services with Pope Francis will be held without a congregation, including Easter Sunday mass.
Holy Week is one of the busiest times of the year for Pope Francis, with tens of thousands of people arriving from all over the world to join in celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.
It is still unclear how the services will be held by the pope, or where exactly, as the Vatican is still to provide further details. Holy Week services begin on Palm Sunday, which marks Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Other important services include Holy Thursday Mass when the oils are blessed. Normally on that day Pope Francis washes the feet of prisoners but this is unlikely to happen this year.
The Lord’s Passion service is normally held in Saint Peter’s Basilica on Good Friday followed by the Way of the Cross around Rome’s ancient Colosseum. This too is likely to be canceled or will take place without public participation. Pope Francis will still be giving his twice-yearly Urbi et Orbi blessing on Easter Sunday.