Photo Story: Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday Mass

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Pope Francis holds a palm branch as he celebrates Palm Sunday mass behind closed doors in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican, 05 April 5, 2020, during the lockdown to stem the spread of the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus.

See also: Virus alters Holy Week celebration worldwide

Besides his aides, a few invited prelates, nuns and laypeople were present, sitting solo in the first pews and staggered meters apart to reduce the risks of contagion.

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Palm Sunday solemnly opens Holy Week leading up to Easter, which on this year falls on April 12. The Vatican has announced Francis will preside over all the traditional ceremonies without the public in keeping with lockdown measures in Italy and at the Vatican to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Among the events is the Good Friday Way of the Cross procession. This year, instead of the customary candlelit procession at Rome’s Colosseum, the Way of the Cross will be presided over by Francis in St. Peter’s Square.




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