Vatican: Easter date can not be changed, despite coronavirus

Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Credit: Bohumil Petrik/CNA

(CNA) The Vatican department for liturgy published guidelines Friday for bishops and priests on the celebration of Holy Week, the Triduum, and Easter liturgies during the coronavirus pandemic.

The document recommends that bishops postpone those liturgies which may be postponed. It also indicates how priests and bishops can offer those celebrations which cannot be moved, such as Easter, in places where public liturgies are suspended.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments published the "general indications" after receiving inquiries from several bishops.

The decree was signed by the congregation’s prefect Cardinal Robert Sarah and Secretary Archbishop Arthur Roche and authorized "by mandate of the Supreme Pontiff, for the year 2020 only," meaning that the recommendations cannot be used in future years.

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