Pope Francis presided over Easter Sunday Mass on April 17, 2022, before about 50,000 faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square under a spring sun and in front of a flower-covered square, returning to the pomp of the pre-pandemic years. After celebrations confined to the interior of St. Peter’s Basilica in 2020 and 2021, this time the crowd was able to gather in St. Peter’s Square to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ.
Pope Francis, suffering from inflammation of the knee, delegated leading the Easter Vigil the day before to Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, dean of the College of Cardinals. But this morning, the Holy Father presided over the Easter Sunday liturgy. As per tradition, he did not deliver a homily, having just delivered the Easter homily at the Vigil.
The Gospel of the Resurrection, sung in Latin and then in Greek, was followed by a time of silent meditation. This pattern is usual at Easter, as the Urbi et Orbi blessing gives the Pope a chance to offer his Easter meditation.
Whereas on Palm Sunday, April 10, the Pope arrived directly by car to the altar, this time he was able to participate in the entrance procession as he arrived on the Square for the celebration of Mass.
During the universal prayer, the intention for the faithful departed was read in Ukrainian: “May the Father of Glory, who promised new heavens and a new earth, grant our deceased brothers and sisters to participate in the eternal Passover, together with the Virgin Mary and all the saints,” read a young Ukrainian woman.
At the end of the Mass, Pope Francis, smiling and seeming to have better mobility than at the previous Easter Triduum liturgies, gave a warm greeting to the cardinals present. He also greeted several disabled people who were extremely moved.
He was able to make an extensive tour of St. Peter’s Square in the popemobile, before the Urbi et Orbi blessing scheduled for noon from the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica.
This is his second appearance in the loggia since the beginning of the pandemic: on December 25, 2021, he was also able to gives his blessing to the faithful in front of St. Peter’s Square, which was open to the faithful.
He delivered his Urbi et Orbi messages for Easter 2020 and 2021 from inside St. Peter’s Basilica, and his Christmas 2020 message from the Hall of Blessings in the Apostolic Palace, before a reduced audience.