Sorbs sing in front of a chapel in Gaseritz, eastern Germany, Sunday, April 12, 2020. Due to the coronavirus crisis the Easter riders processions was been canceled. Normally according to a more than hundred years old tradition men of the Sorbs, dressed in black tailcoats ride on decorated horses, proclaiming, singing and praying the message of Jesus' resurrection. The Sorbs are a Slavic German minority located near the German-Polish border. Mounted police patrol to keep faithful from gathering at La Estrella hilltop, where crosses are located for the annual Way of the Cross reenactment, in the Iztapalapa neighborhood of Mexico City, on Good Friday, April 10, 2020. Christians are marking Good Friday in a world locked down by the COVID-19 pandemic, unable to attend solemn church services or religious processions as in past years. Don Angelo leads the Way of Cross liturgy at the Ospedale di Circolo in Varese, Italy, Friday, April 10, 2020. A resident stands on a balcony while ringing a bell in remembrance of ''Santa Vera Cruz'' brotherhood known as ''Los Picaos'' on Maundy Thursday after celebrations were cancelled due to the outbreak of coronavirus, in San Vicente de La Sonsierra, northern Spain, Thursday, April 9, 2020. Devotees of the "Nazareno de San Pablo" kneel as a statue of Jesus in a Pope mobile moves past during Holy Week celebrations in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, April 8, 2020. The annual procession, in which pilgrims normally take to the streets, is not allowed this year due to quarantine laws to help contain the spread of the new coronavirus, so the Catholic Church is driving the religious icon around the capital for people to see from their homes. Priests wait to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a place where Christians believe Jesus Christ was buried, during a lockdown to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, during Holy Thursday in Jerusalem's Old City, Thursday, April 9, 2020. The traditional Holy Thursday procession is taking place inside the church without public attendance this year. Priests prepare to celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper at St. Anthony Parish in San Gabriel, Calif., Thursday, April 9, 2020. From left are the Rev. Matthew Wheeler, Deacon Manuel Chavez, the Rev. Jim Clarke, Monsignor Austin Doran and seminarian Justin Ordoveza. With no public Mass due to the coronavirus pandemic, the church live-streams its services. Catholic devotees offer prayers at Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Good Friday, during a lockdown to control the spread of the new coronavirus in Hyderabad, India, Friday, April 10, 2020. Penitent Fernando Fernandez, 15, wearing a protective face covering, poses for a photo outside La Merced church that is closed to the public to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus in Antigua, Guatemala, on Good April 10, 2020. A woman holds the cross during the Via Crucis – or Way of the Cross – ceremony in St. Peter's Square empty of the faithful following Italy's ban on gatherings to contain coronavirus contagion, at the Vatican, Friday, April 10, 2020. Nuns pray as they wait for the start of the Way of the Cross sermon in the metropolitan cathedral closed to the public as a precaution against the spread of the new coronavirus, in La Paz, Bolivia, on Good Friday, April 10, 2020. ( AP Photo/Juan Karita) Patty Duffey, wearing a mask, stops at a station at a drive-thru Stations of the Cross for social distancing due to the coronavirus on Good Friday at the New Song Church, Friday, April 10, 2020, in Henderson, Nev. Pope Francis presides over the Via Crucis – or Way of the Cross – ceremony in St. Peter's Square empty of the faithful following Italy's ban on gatherings to contain coronavirus contagion, at the Vatican, Friday, April 10, 2020. A statue of Jesus Christ is covered with a purple veil as priests attend the Passion of Christ Mass broadcast on a live video stream inside the empty Sao Jose da Lagoa Catholic church in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Good Friday, April 10, 2020. A white cloth is draped to silhouette the cross at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church on Friday, April 10, 2020, in Mission, Texas. On any normal celebration of Holy Week, the church would be filled to capacity with worshipers but not during the coronavirus outbreak. (Delcia Lopez/The Monitor via AP) Vicar Kerstin Gommel, right, celebrates the Maundy Thursday Service besides Dean Jana Petri, left, and youth pastor Anna Boeck, center, in the empty Protestant church St. Marien in Suhl, Germany, Thursday, April 9, 2020. The church members are present symbolically with their portrait fixed to the pews. A devotee of the "Nazareno de San Pablo" holds a cross as she watches a statue of Jesus pass by in a Pope mobile during Holy Week celebrations in Caracas, Venezuela, April 8, 2020. The annual procession, in which pilgrims normally take to the streets, is not allowed this year due to quarantine laws to help contain the spread of the new coronavirus, so the Catholic Church is driving the religious icon around the capital for people to see from their homes. A worshipper prays during the celebrations marking Easter, at the chapel of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn, in Vilnius, Lithuania, Saturday, April 11, 2020. The church canceled all worship services but some people came to the chapel to celebrate Easter nearby.
April 12, 2020
Easter Sunday morning is all about crowded churches, people parading in their best clothes, big family gatherings and happy children running and hunting for Easter eggs. 2020 will be remembered for the absence of those joyous moments.
No doubt there have been difficult times in Easters past. An AP archive image photographed April 1, 1945, shows 175 Frenchmen, former prisoners of war, marching down a German road after being freed by a cavalry reconnaissance unit of the U.S. Ninth Army on Easter Sunday. They are shoulder-to-shoulder and jubilant in the image photographed by the U.S. Army Signal Corps.
During this pandemic, people are spread out and sheltering in place. Churches around the world were closed to most of the over 2 billion Christians, forcing the faithful to watch Easter services online or on TV.
At Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where the Christian faithful believe Jesus was crucified, entombed and rose from the dead, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa urged the faithful not to be discouraged. “The message of Easter is that life, despite all will prevail,” said Pizzaballa said at a Mass attended by a few clerics, with the streets of the Old City devoid of pilgrims and vendors.
Here is how Christians celebrated Easter in Varese, Italy; Hyderabad, India; Caracas; Antigua, Guatemala; and Henderson, Nevada: