Guidelines from the Vatican for the Celebration of the Holy Week in Time of COVID-19

Mar 20, 2020 | Ecclesiastical News

Vatican City. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments released a Decree on Thursday, March 19, 2020, explaining how to celebrate Holy Week with limitations due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Decree is valid only for the year 2020.

Due to the central importance and significance of Easter in the liturgical year, it cannot be changed. On the other hand, the bishop can postpone the Chrism Mass and the Holy Week processions. They recommend having them around September 14, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. They can also be done on any other date that the bishop considers appropriate.

As there can be no crowds, the Easter Triduum cannot be celebrated in public. Bishops and pastors should advise the faithful how to follow it on television or the Internet, but live, and not pre-recorded ceremonies.

Holy Thursday’s traditional washing of feet and the procession with the Eucharist to the tabernacle are suspended. No changes with the Good Friday celebration except that it is not open to the public. And on the Easter Vigil of Holy Saturday, the lighting of the fire will be omitted and there will be no adult baptisms.

Likewise, on Friday, March 20, 2020, the Apostolic Penitentiary also released a Decree dated March 19, 2020, granting Plenary Indulgence under some conditions on the occasion of the current world epidemic. These are for the faithful who offer a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, or Eucharistic adoration, or reading the Holy Scriptures for at least half an hour, or the recitation of the Holy Rosary, or the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross, or the recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, to implore from Almighty God the end of the epidemic, relief for those who are afflicted and eternal salvation for those whom the Lord has called to Himself.

You can download the decrees below:

[English, French, Italian, Spanish]

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