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In pictures: Christians celebrate Easter at home as Covid-19 forces crowds away from churches

The virus forced a change in Easter traditions that had even endured wars.
Published 13 Apr, 2020 12:27am

Christians around the world celebrated an Easter Sunday upended by the coronavirus without the usual crowded church Masses and large family gatherings. Instead, they turned to the internet, television and radio from home to follow services that noted the grave impact of the pandemic.

Some found novel ways to mark the holy day. Others still assembled in groups, but took precautions to try to avoid infection. The virus forced a change in Easter traditions that had even endured wars.

But no matter how divergent the celebrations, the message from church leaders around the world remained consistent: prayers for the sick and dead and reassurances of God's presence.

Wearing a face mask, Erlinda Ortega, top left, cleans a pulpit, while Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, at centre, with the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, prepares to record a homily, after Budde led Easter Sunday services via livestream to an empty National Cathedral on April 12 in Washington, in light of coronavirus pandemic precautions. — AP
Wearing a face mask, Erlinda Ortega, top left, cleans a pulpit, while Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, at centre, with the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, prepares to record a homily, after Budde led Easter Sunday services via livestream to an empty National Cathedral on April 12 in Washington, in light of coronavirus pandemic precautions. — AP

Pope Francis reads his "Urbi et Orbi" ("To the City and the World") message in St. Peter's Basilica with no public participation on Easter Sunday at the Vatican, on April 12. — Reuters
Pope Francis reads his "Urbi et Orbi" ("To the City and the World") message in St. Peter's Basilica with no public participation on Easter Sunday at the Vatican, on April 12. — Reuters

Pope Francis gathers his thoughts during Easter Sunday Mass on April 12 behind closed doors at St Peter's Basilica in The Vatican. — AFP
Pope Francis gathers his thoughts during Easter Sunday Mass on April 12 behind closed doors at St Peter's Basilica in The Vatican. — AFP

Christians hold candles as they offer prayers during an Easter service in the rooftop of their house during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus, in Islamabad on April 12. — AFP
Christians hold candles as they offer prayers during an Easter service in the rooftop of their house during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus, in Islamabad on April 12. — AFP

Christians hold candles as they offer prayers during an Easter service in the rooftop of their house in Islamabad. — AFP
Christians hold candles as they offer prayers during an Easter service in the rooftop of their house in Islamabad. — AFP

Reverend Shahid Mehraj Dean leads an online Easter prayer in front of empty seats at the Cathedral Church of the Resurrection in Lahore on April 12. — Reuters
Reverend Shahid Mehraj Dean leads an online Easter prayer in front of empty seats at the Cathedral Church of the Resurrection in Lahore on April 12. — Reuters

A Christian family prays together at home as they follow the live broadcasting of an Easter Sunday service on television from the All Saints' Cathedral in Nairobi, Kenya, on April 12. — AFP
A Christian family prays together at home as they follow the live broadcasting of an Easter Sunday service on television from the All Saints' Cathedral in Nairobi, Kenya, on April 12. — AFP

The radio station that parishioners listen to in their cars during a drive-in Easter service via transmission organised by the Delta Ministries at the Tru Vu Drive In theatre in Delta, Colorado, US on April 12. — Reuters
The radio station that parishioners listen to in their cars during a drive-in Easter service via transmission organised by the Delta Ministries at the Tru Vu Drive In theatre in Delta, Colorado, US on April 12. — Reuters

A flock of pigeons fly in front of the Duomo Cathedral on Easter Sunday in Milan, Italy on April 12. — Reuters
A flock of pigeons fly in front of the Duomo Cathedral on Easter Sunday in Milan, Italy on April 12. — Reuters

A woman wears a face mask during the traditional Easter Sunday mass, that is broadcasted live on social media, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Ouagadougou on April 12. — AFP
A woman wears a face mask during the traditional Easter Sunday mass, that is broadcasted live on social media, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Ouagadougou on April 12. — AFP

A hand sanitiser sits on the stage as musicians play to parishioners sitting in their cars during a drive-in Easter service via a radio transmission organised by the Delta Ministries at the Tru Vu Drive In theatre in Delta, Colorado, US on April 12. — Reuters
A hand sanitiser sits on the stage as musicians play to parishioners sitting in their cars during a drive-in Easter service via a radio transmission organised by the Delta Ministries at the Tru Vu Drive In theatre in Delta, Colorado, US on April 12. — Reuters

A woman holds the cross during the Via Crucis — or Way of the Cross — ceremony in St Peter's Square empty of the faithful following Italy's ban on gatherings to contain coronavirus contagion, at the Vatican on April 10. — AP
A woman holds the cross during the Via Crucis — or Way of the Cross — ceremony in St Peter's Square empty of the faithful following Italy's ban on gatherings to contain coronavirus contagion, at the Vatican on April 10. — AP


Header image: Pope Francis reads his "Urbi et Orbi" ("To the City and the World") message in St. Peter's Basilica on Easter Sunday at the Vatican, April 12. — Reuters