VILNIUS - Lithuanian Catholic bishops have invited the faithful to celebrate the Easter season by joining in prayers to be broadcast over the Internet, radio and television.
"These changes – the absence of public Masses and liturgies – is an act of love to those around us (...) to keep everyone, especially those in the risk zone, from getting sick," Archbishop Gintaras Grusas, the president of the Lithuanian Bishop's Conference, told reporters outside Vilnius Cathedral on Friday.
"That confinement and participation in Masses via radio, television and webcasting is a way to protect (each other)," he said. "We are inviting people to join in prayers throughout this period, especially during Holy Week and the Easter Triduum."
Grusas said the Lithuanian Bishop's Conference has received the Vatican's guidelines on the celebration of the Easter season during the coronavirus pandemic.
"The Holy See emphasized that (....) these are celebrations that cannot be moved to another time," he said.
The Lithuanian Bishops Conference suspended all public services at churches after a nationwide quarantine took effect on March 1. Easter services will also have held without public participation, and certain traditional Holy Week events will not take place.
"Our traditional processions throughout the week have been removed from the liturgy," the archbishop said.
In an effort to slow the coronavirus spread, the government has extended the quarantine until April 13, a day after Easter Sunday.