How to mark Easter, when we cannot gather…. Updated – new public health directive

The following suggestion is based on a diocesan proposal submitted to Cashel Diocese from Roy Donovan.

It has been adapted slightly for a national level and to take account of the fact that it is now recommended that no more than four people gather at any outdoor function.

Any other ideas of marking Easter this year?

Since the first posting earlier on 27 March events have again very quickly overtaken us with the new Public Health regulation “All public and private gatherings of any number of people outside a single household or living unit are prohibited.



1.    Light a Paschal fire on the Rock of Cashel for Easter Vigil.
       It could be done in each province –
Rock of Cashel, Hill of Tara, Croagh Patrick, Armagh.

2.    Light a 12-foot National Paschal Candle from the fire (like in Lourdes)

3.    Message – Christ is Risen. Prayer – dispel the darkness/COVID-19

4.    When normal life resumes the light can be dispersed to all dioceses and parishes.

5.    Have it televised so all can participate.
(If not nationally certainly widely via social media)

Needs to be a brief 5 minutes ceremony and needs to reach out to everyone.  Message very short – Christ is Risen.
A few short prayers.


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  1. Adrian Egan says:

    and two hours after latest directives there is no response or guidance from bishops regarding funerals from midnight on, or if churches should close completely. Where’s the leadership? Are they even meeting to come up with an urgent response?

  2. Tim Hazelwood says:

    Following the latest guidelines and in the interest of keeping our most vulnerable safe, in consultation with the pastoral council, we have decided to close our churches until further notice.

  3. Pádraig McCarthy says:

    Advice for Dublin diocese is at

    It’s inaccurate in one respect.
    The advice says “must remain indoors at all times.” “Indoors” is a little inaccurate.

    The document at does say “do not leave your house.” But further on it says:
    “although you have been asked to stay at home it is important you keep yourself mobile by getting up and moving around as much as possible. If you have a garden or backyard, go out and get some fresh air but please keep away from other people including neighbours. Keeping a distance of at least 1 metre but where possible 2 metres (or 6.5 feet) from other people is recommended.”

    Both the government document and the Dublin advice seem to forget a very important aspect. The advice is certainly for our own protection, but at least as important is that by following the guidance, we can help protect our health services and workers from being overwhelmed, and so also help protect those workers and many other people by safeguarding the availability of care for those who will need it in the coming weeks.

  4. For heaven’s sake! Is it possible that our bishops cannot meet through a CONFERENCE call (phone), or better still, by a VIDEO CONFERENCE, and decide on a shared guidance for the imminent Holy Week. Their lack of clear group leadership seems an extraordinary dereliction of the ideal of episcopal solidarity.
    Even at this late stage, a message from the Irish Episcopal Conference would be a great help to laity and clergy alike. It would also be picked up by the media and could provide a spiritual uplift for many.
    Pat Rogers

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