In an unprecedented move that will change Easter for everyone in Newry this year, but also throughout the world, leaders of the world's main Christian Churches have postponed this year's Holy Week ceremonies until the end of September.

It's the latest high profile event cancellation made in the wake of the current worldwide Covid-19 Pandemic and the incredible move is sure to cause shockwaves around the planet.

This years Good Friday Stations of the Cross will have to wait till September. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/
This years Good Friday Stations of the Cross in Newry Cathedral will have to wait till September. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

The Statement

Making the announcement via a press release this morning, the statement, signed by ten leaders of the main Christian denominations worldwide said "In light of the present worldwide Covid-19 Pandemic our Christian Churches worldwide will defer Holy Week ceremonies, including Easter Sunday until September.

"Easter Sunday will now be held on September 27th with Holy Week starting on Palm Sunday September 20th.

"We ask all to continue as normal observing Lenten fasts and sacrifices if already doing so, until April 12th. A second optional Lent will be held from Ash Wednesday August 12th.

"We will continue to pray for you all in these uncertain times."

The statement signatories include Pope Benedict, Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Pope Tawadros II leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and Pope Pilolrafo IV, Head of the Agnostic Church of Armenia.

Easter Sunday is normally held on the first Sunday, after the first full moon, after the Spring Equinox but this year's move changes it to the first Sunday after the Autumn Equinox on 21st of September!

The doors of all Newry churches are already closed to parishioners due to the Coronavirus although several broadcast regularly online. It's hoped by the time the rescheduled date for Easter comes round that congregations will be able to gather together once again.

Business Concerns

It's too early to get reaction from Newry's business community but the very real prospect of their stock of Easter eggs which usually are 'short dated', having to be sent back to manufacturers to be melted and re-sold as chocolate bars, with the corresponding 90% reduction in profit will just add to their current woes.

Already shares from global chocolate supplier Chocfool have taken a tumble on world stockmarket's this morning.


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