Easter services will be held without the presence of faithful, without processions and without the rite of the washing of feet this year, according to a decree issued by the Holy See.
The faithful will be informed of the exact times of the services in order to be able to pray, if they want, from their home and to watch them live. On Thursday, the rite of the washing of feet will be omitted and no procession will be held after the mass. On Great Friday, priests will pray for the sick and the dead. Only the celebrant will kiss the Cross and no one else.
Some of the ceremonies, such as the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) traditionally performed at Rome’s Colosseum in the presence of the Pope, may be postponed until September 14 and 15. The Sacrament of Chrismation, that is anointing by using oil of Chrism of the baptisms, may also be postponed.
Since the beginning of the epidemic in Italy, 67 priests have died, according to a report published by the newspaper Avvenire. Most of them were elders.
The 83-year-old pontiff has already canceled his public appearances.