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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, March 30, 2021

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. …


The Easter Triduum approaches, promising us the most beautiful and solemn ceremonies in the Catholic liturgical tradition. But this year—like last year—for most Catholics that promise will be unfulfilled.

Unless you are one of the fortunate few, you will not hear a performance of Allegri’s haunting Miserere this week. The congregation at your parish will not be invited to join in singing the Stabat Mater on Good Friday, or the traditional joyous hymns on Easter Sunday. There will probably be no procession, no kissing of the crucifix, no kindling of the fire outside the door of the church at the Easter vigil. With “social distancing” rules in place and many Catholics still afraid to come, the church will not be packed for the Vigil, as it always was in the past. On Easter Sunday your fellow parishioners may be smiling, but you won’t see those smiles behind their masks. Everything about the liturgy will be toned down—again, as it was last year. …

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