Worshipers around the world have gathered to celebrate Easter Sunday as Pope Francis holds mass for tens of thousands in St. Peter’s Square.
The pope presided over the traditional Easter Vigil overnight on the Holy Night of Easter in a packed St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.
The celebration began inside at the entrance of the basilica, with the evocative rite of the benediction of fire, followed by the candlelight procession.
Members of the Swiss Guard have arrived today as Pope Francis is expected to celebrate Easter Sunday Mass in St Peter’s Square and deliver the biennial ‘Urbi et Orbi’ – his papal speech and apostolic blessing.
In the UK, meanwhile, King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla are expected to be joined by other senior royals to mark the occasion later today at Windsor Castle – the first Easter Sunday service of the monarch’s reign.
Pope Francis leads mass on Easter Sunday in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican for tens of thousands of people
Members of the Swiss Guard arrive to attend Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican
Participants attend a parade to celebrate Easter Sunday at Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Square this morning
A group of Nepalese Christian devotees participate in a religious gathering on the occasion of Easter Sunday in Kathmandu, Nepal
This weekend marks the first Easter without the late Queen after she passed away on September 8, 2022, at the age of 96. It is also the second anniversary of her devoted husband Prince Philip’s death on Sunday.
Princess Anne, Prince Edward and the Duchess of Edinburgh are all expected to attend the service at St George’s Chapel, while the Princess of Wales also reportedly organized an Easter egg hunt for the royal children.
It comes as millions of worshipers have gathered to hold prayers and religious gatherings around the world.
Thousands of Nepalese Christian devotees have also taken part in a religious gathering in Kathmandu’s capital.
Archbishop Peter Comensoli presided over an Easter Sunday Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne, Australia, as children hunted for Easter eggs elsewhere in the country
Catholic worshipers attended mass this morning at St. Anthony’s Church in Colombo, Sri Lanka, while traditional events have also taken place in Las Pinas City, Metro Manila, Philippines.
Pope Francis imagined presiding over the Easter Vigil Mass in a packed St. Peter’s Basilica at night
Canon Edward Probert, Chancellor of Salisbury Cathedral handles the Paschal Candle in the Cathedral
Archbishop Peter Comensoli leads an Easter mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne
Participants hold balloons during a parade to celebrate Easter at Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul
Bishop of Salisbury, The Right Reverend Stephen Lake blesses the garden after the service at Salisbury Cathedral
Members of followers of Christianity dance in unison as they take part in a mass prayer event to mark Easter Sunday in the capital Kathmandu
Christian devotees pray this morning during an Easter Sunday service at a church in Chennai, India
A group of Nepalese Christian devotees participate in a religious gathering on the occasion of Easter Sunday in Kathmandu
A Sri Lankan Catholic receives sacramental bread during Easter Sunday Mass at St. Anthony’s Church in Colombo
Believers attend an Easter mass today at the Great Immaculate Church in Al-Hamdaniya, Iraq
In his Easter message today, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Easter Sunday gives us an opportunity to reflect on the significant contribution that Christian communities make to our national life – they provide support and a sense of belonging to so many across the country.
“Christianity and its values of tolerance, compassion and charity are embedded in our history and national fabric. Her values are British values.
“I want to wish everyone who celebrates today a very happy Easter.”
This morning, the Archbishop of Canterbury is expected to preside over the Eucharist.
He will use his Easter sermons to warn that “those who oppress and subjugate others will face divine justice.”
Previously, Canon Edward Probert, Canon Chancellor of Salisbury Cathedral, presided over the lighting of the Easter candle ceremony.
Cardinals Angelo Comastri and Giovanni Lajolo arrive at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican where Pope Francis will celebrate Easter Sunday Mass
A Swiss Guard stands in front of St. Peter’s Basilica ahead of the Pope’s Easter Mass
Christian devotees take part in a 2023 Korea Easter Parade in Seoul amid celebrations around the world
The Easter liturgy and lighting of the Paschal candle is held every year at Easter and is used during the Easter season and then throughout the year on special occasions, such as baptisms and funerals.
Lighting the Easter candle from the new fire, at dusk early on Easter morning, represents resurrection and new life.
The single candle is carried into the cathedral and the proclamation of the light of Christ fills the whole space. The light is then spread around the cathedral with candles held by all the baptized.
Rev. Stephen Lake blessed the garden after the service.