The Roman Catholic Church this year celebrates Easter on April 12. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the religious ceremonies in Moldova, as in other states, will be held behind closed doors. The faithful are urged to watch the Easter Vigil over the Internet.
Contacted by IPN for a comment, Bishop of Chisinau, Monsignor Anton Coşa said recommendations were formulated for the parishioners who will watch the service over the Internet. They must be dressed appropriately, sit in front of computers consciously and with respect and pray by making the necessary gestures. “The people should understand that they are not watching a film or a feature on TV. We are taking part in the celebration of a mystery together with the Church, the spiritual community of all the Christians,” stated Anton Coșa.
The Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday starts at 8pm. As the service will be held without the participation of parishioners, some of the events, including the blessing of food, will be shortened. “We told the parishioners to prepare the food at home and, after the service, when the blessing prayer is said over the Internet, through YouTube, they will spray the food with holy water. Our prayer will unite with their gesture of spraying holy water bought beforehand,” stated the Bishop.
On Easter Sunday, a priest from Poland will officiate at the Liturgy in Polish, starting at 9am. From 10:30a, the Liturgy will be continued by the Bishop of Chisinau Anton Coșa, accompanied by a brother who will help him. Starting at midday, the Liturgy will be held by Father Gabriel, who is the youngest priest of the Cathedral of Divine Providence, in Romanian.
Anton Coşa said the Catholic Church complies with the rules set down by the Commission for Exceptional Situations for the period of the pandemic. “Our parishioners were informed by different letters we transmitted to them and through the Internet. Everyone knows the address and can follow live on YouTube the celebrations in Chisinau and also in Bălți, Tiraspol,” stated the Bishop.
Monsignor Anton Coşa also said that in the period the priests visit the sick and the elderly and hear their confessions, respecting the necessary protection measures. Charity activities were staged to help the elderly and funds were collected as part of a campaign, with the raised funds being transferred to the triage center COVID-19 Chisinau at “Moldexpo”.