Ourém, Santarém, 19 March 2021 (Lusa) – All Holy Week and Easter celebrations at the Sanctuary of Fátima will be transmitted ‘online’, due to the impossibility of many pilgrims to travel to Cova da Iria due to the limitations resulting from the covid pandemic -19, was announced today.

“The Sanctuary of Fátima will transmit ‘all the celebrations of the Easter Triduum’ online, for the first time”, informs the institution, explaining that the initiative aims to “mitigate the impossibility that many pilgrims will live to travel to Fátima due to the prohibition of circulation between municipalities, in the period between March 26 and April 5 ”.

In an information made available on its website, the sanctuary, in the district of Santarém, adds that, “although all celebrations are open to the participation of all the faithful, in particular the residents of the municipality of Ourém, Cova da Iria connected to the whole world to allow everyone who wants to be able to be united to Fatima in what is the most important and symbolic time of the Christian experience”.

The celebrations transmitted online, from the Basilica of the Holy Trinity, will be interpreted in Portuguese Sign Language, namely “the Mass at 11:00 am on Palm Sunday, the Mass at the Lord’s Supper, on Holy Thursday at 6 pm : 00, the Passion, on Good Friday, at 3:00 pm, the Easter Vigil, on Holy Saturday, at 10:00 pm, and the Easter Mass, on Sunday at 11:00 am, ”says the same information.

The sanctuary emphasizes that “the rites foreseen in all these celebrations will be adapted to the sanitary moment that the country is going through and, therefore, in the Mass of Palm Sunday, each pilgrim should bring their own branch for the blessing, without the usual distribution in the sanctuary”.

In the “Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the gesture of the washing of the feet will be omitted, replacing it with an evocative gesture, and on Good Friday the worship of the Cross will also be done in a different way from the usual”, clarifies the Temple.

“Contrary to what is customary in the sanctuary, the Easter Mass will take place in the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, a place where most of the celebrations of the summer program, which will take effect from Monday, April 5th, will be held” , he says, adding that all celebrations will be broadcast live on, Youtube and Facebook.

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, Last year, the Sanctuary of Fátima, for the first time in its history, held Holy Week celebrations without pilgrims, behind closed doors, which are transmitted by the media and digital media.

In a message about the celebration of Easter, also available on the website of the Marian temple, the rector of the sanctuary, Father Carlos Cabecinhas, emphasizes that this year you can participate in the celebrations, with the exception that you cannot do it as before.

“We have to be very careful to ensure everyone’s safety. (…) Our spaces are prepared to welcome you, with all the security measures, but we also ask for your responsibility. Safety depends on the contribution of each one and the care of each one”, highlights the rector.

For Carlos Cabecinhas, the celebration of Easter “reinforces” hope and confidence “in these troubled times”.