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.
“Easter is the heart of the entire liturgical year and is not simply one feast among others,” the document states, and that the Easter Triduum “cannot be transferred to another time.”
The congregation’ document also says that the bishop has faculties to postpone the Chrism Mass of Holy Week.
The Paschal Triduum is the three days leading up to and including Easter Sunday. It begins at sundown Holy Thursday and ends on sundown Easter Sunday.
The decree orders that, in the places where there are restrictions from civil and Church authorities, the bishop, in agreement with the bishops’ conference, may offer the liturgies of the Easter Triduum in the cathedral, and priests of the diocese may offer the liturgies in their parishes, without the physical presence of the faithful.
Read more at Catholic World Report