According to Vatican News, the celebration of Easter Mass in a crowded, sunlit St Peter’s Square began with the rite of “Resurrexit” on the parvis of the square decorated with 40,000 flowers brought from Holland.
Deacons opened the doors of the icon of the Most Holy Saviour, which Pope Francis incensed the icon and around 100,000 faithful, returning after two years of pandemic to celebrate Easter Sunday together.
The first reading, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, recalling St Peter’s words to the Colossians, was followed by the singing of the Easter Sequence, after which the Gospel of John was proclaimed in Latin and Greek – recounting the discovery of the empty tomb and the disciples’ bewilderment at not having yet understood the Scripture, “that He was to rise from the dead”.
The Pope and the assembly then fell silent after the proclamation of the Word of God.In the prayer of the faithful in various languages, an appeal was made to world leaders to seek the common good.
Prayers followed in Ukrainian for the deceased, so that they may participate in the eternal Easter.
After the Eucharist, Pope Francis’ blessing concluded the Easter Mass, with the delivery to “go in peace”, a peace that today needs to be asked for with insistence and prayer.
At the end of the celebration, Pope Francis boarded his Pope mobile and greeted the faithful, stopping to return an affectionate gesture to those who have called him or greeted him through a wave.This was one of the first Pope mobile trips down Via della Conciliazione for some time – marking a long-awaited return to normality after the long isolation due to the pandemic.