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COVID-19 update | No crowds at Holy Week ceremonies amid pandemic

Francis traditionally leads a Palm Sunday procession through St. Peter's Square and then celebrates an outdoor Mass for tens of thousands of faithful.

March 28, 2021 / 04:39 PM IST
Pope Francis | Representative Image

Pope Francis | Representative Image

Pope Francis is celebrating solemn Holy Week ceremonies for a second straight year without the usual throngs of pilgrims and tourists, kept away by pandemic safety concerns and travel restrictions.

Francis traditionally leads a Palm Sunday procession through St. Peter's Square and then celebrates an outdoor Mass for tens of thousands of faithful.

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But Francis led a Palm Sunday service this year inside St Peter's Basilica just as he did last spring. That was just weeks after the COVID-19 outbreak erupted in Italy, which was the first country in the West to be hit by the pandemic. Only about 120 faithful, including nuns and a few families, attended and were socially-distanced.

They wore protective masks as did participants in the procession of 30 red-robed cardinals, but Francis was maskless.



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