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Pope Francis leads Easter Eve mass in near-empty church due to COVID-19

Coronavirus

ROME — COVID-19 is impacting Holy Week around the world.

Pope Francis urged people to “not yield to fear” and focused on a “message of hope” as he led an Easter Eve mass in an empty St. Peter’s Basilica today in the Vatican City.

The vigil, which normally takes place in a church packed with about 10,000 people, was attended by only about two dozen, including a few altar servers and a smaller-than-usual choir.

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, it was scaled back to eliminate several traditional features as well.

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