With both the apex of the virus crisis and that of the Christian year fast approaching, churches are hurrying to adapt.
Roman Catholic authorities in the Guadalajara area said they will alter their conservative decision to carry on with Sunday Masses almost as usual—the elderly had been asked to stay home and priests instructed to give shorter sermons. But in light of the continued quarantine and expected crowds during Holy Week, Guadalajara’s archbishop announced March 31 that “the Eucharist will continue to be realized without the presence of the faithful, without exception.”
The new announcement also instructs clergy to put a lid on the mass festivities of Holy Thursday and Good Friday, some of which are celebrated on the street and outside the control of clergy.
“Easter celebrations will be behind closed doors without an audience,” a spokesman told local media. In Mexico, Easter Sunday is normally dwarfed by Holy Week events, such as Holy Thursday – in Guadalajara celebrated by a popular pilgrimage to seven downtown churches, “Siete Templos,” and the sale of special empanadas (filled pastries) at local bakeries. Good Friday too is celebrated in many areas locally by throngs of people following after a live re-enactment of Jesus carrying the cross to his crucifixion and death.