PHILADELPHIA (CBS/CNN) — There will be no Easter Sunday Mass in Philadelphia next month. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has released directives scrapping all public Holy Week Masses and services, as well as Easter Sunday Mass.

Priests will still hold Mass during these days but in private.

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“The Coronavirus (COVID 19) challenges us to celebrate the Mysteries of Christ for the glory of the Father and our sanctification with reasonable limitations and in cooperation with directives from government and health officials to stem the spread of the virus,” the archdiocese said.

Last week, Philadelphia Archbishop Nelson Perez suspended all public Masses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“As the Archbishop of Philadelphia, my first priority is to ensure the health and welfare of those entrusted to the pastoral and temporal care of our Church,” Perez said. “So, in light of the developing Coronavirus pandemic, a decision has been made to suspend the public celebration of all Masses in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for the time being.”


President Donald Trump said Tuesday he wants the nation “opened up and just raring to go by Easter” — a date just more than two weeks away that few health experts believe will be sufficient in containing the spread of coronavirus.

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