Rome (AP) — Pope Francis celebrates the reduced Easter All-Night Vigil at St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday, urging a flock tired of the coronavirus to keep hope of the pandemic “dark moon.” I did.
Due to the norms of social distance, only about 200 masked people were allowed to attend worship. This shows the period from the crucifixion of Christ to the resurrection of his joy on Easter Sunday.
For the second consecutive year, the Vatican cut out the sacraments of traditional baptism for a small number of adults to limit the potential for transmission. This year’s all-night service, which is usually a long midnight ritual, also began earlier than usual to respect the COVID-19 curfew at 10 pm in Italy.
But worship began in a dramatic way, as always. The Pope lit a candle in the darkened cathedral, after which Pew slowly began to shimmer and shared the flames with others until the cathedral turned on.
Francis said in his respect that Easter offers a message of hope and a new beginning.
“Let’s hear the resurrected Lord invite us to not lose hope for the first time in these dark months of the pandemic,” he said. “Despite all our failures, we have a new life in which God can awaken, so we can always start anew.”
Francis, who avoided the face mask again, was a sign of suffering from a long-term bout of sciatica and was quite dragged through the service.
On Sunday, Francis also presides over the Easter Mass in front of a few loyal groups, delivering the blessings of his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” “to the city and the world.” Easter Masses and blessings are usually celebrated in front of tens of thousands of people in the flower-decorated St. Peter’s Square.
But this year, Francis celebrates the worship service in the cathedral and delivers blessings from the altar to prevent crowds from forming in the square.