- Jul 12, 2020
On Palm Sunday Pope Francis began his livestreamed Holy Week liturgies telling the suffering that Jesus endured a painful death to ensure that are not alone, and that the current COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is an opportunity to love and serve others, as he did.
For Pope Francis at the Vatican, and for Christians worldwide from churches large and small, this will be an Easter like none other: The joyous message of Christ’s resurrection will be delivered to empty pews.
As England prepares to celebrate Holy Week, the secretary of the bishops’ conference liturgy office says the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is making everyone “aware now that they are in this together.”
While Pope Francis’s Way of the Cross service on Good Friday has been transferred to the Vatican because of the coronavirus pandemic, the meditations focus, as always, on those who share the pain, suffering and heartbreak that characterized Christ’s passion and death.
Don’t expect any palms this Passion Sunday. And distribution of palms later in the year might not happen, either, according to Rita Thiron, executive director of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions.
The global pandemic is upending the season’s major religious holidays, forcing leaders and practitioners across the spectrum to improvise. They’re having to finding new ways to live out their beliefs in a time of social distancing and empty houses of worship.