| 5°C Belfast

Island of Ireland marks Easter amid differing restrictions on worship

Churches have resumed physical services in Northern Ireland while a prohibition remains in place in the Irish Republic.

Close

Fr Declan Kelly carries a crucifix at a church in Co Meath (PA)

Fr Declan Kelly carries a crucifix at a church in Co Meath (PA)

Fr Declan Kelly carries a crucifix at a church in Co Meath (PA)

Church services have taken place across the island of Ireland as Christians marked another Easter in lockdown.

While face-to-face services remain prohibited in the Irish Republic, the four main churches in Northern Ireland have begun a gradual return to in-person worship having voluntarily stopped as the most recent Covid-19 wave took hold in January.

Regardless of the differing positions on church attendance on either side of the border, thousands of parishioners across the island are again relying on technology to participate in Easter services remotely.

Close

David O’Reilly dressed as Jesus during a Solemn Procession on Good Friday at the Papal Cross in Dublin’s Phoenix Park (Brian Lawless/PA)

David O’Reilly dressed as Jesus during a Solemn Procession on Good Friday at the Papal Cross in Dublin’s Phoenix Park (Brian Lawless/PA)

PA

David O’Reilly dressed as Jesus during a Solemn Procession on Good Friday at the Papal Cross in Dublin’s Phoenix Park (Brian Lawless/PA)

At St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh, the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, had both a physical and virtual congregation on Good Friday for a service celebrating the Lord’s Passion.

Earlier, Mr Martin expressed concern that law makers in the Irish Republic had neglected the spiritual wellbeing of the community during the pandemic.

“It’s a really difficult balancing act but we would have really hoped to have some opportunity to gather in cautious, small numbers for Holy Week and Easter, as we’re doing in Northern Ireland,” he told RTE.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

“We have been having very mature and careful conversations with the government here in the North and with the public health authorities who recognise that people’s spiritual, mental and emotional health helps them with their physical health as well.”

Close

Fr Declan Kelly, curate of the Church of St Peter and Paul in Dunboyne, Co Meath, cleans a crucifix in preparation for the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion service on Good Friday (Brian Lawless/PA)

Fr Declan Kelly, curate of the Church of St Peter and Paul in Dunboyne, Co Meath, cleans a crucifix in preparation for the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion service on Good Friday (Brian Lawless/PA)

PA

Fr Declan Kelly, curate of the Church of St Peter and Paul in Dunboyne, Co Meath, cleans a crucifix in preparation for the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion service on Good Friday (Brian Lawless/PA)

The senior cleric highlighted the unusual position of having different restrictions in different parts of the island.

He noted the experience of one cross-border parish that was having to adopt one approach for its two churches in Northern Ireland and another for its solitary church in the Irish Republic.

“We’re really hoping for the day when across the whole island people can gather to worship safely,” said the archbishop.

While traditional church-organised physical events associated with Easter were cancelled in the Irish Republic, in Dublin a group of between 30 to 40 people organised their own Way of the Cross procession to the Papal Cross in Phoenix Park.


Top Videos



Privacy