- Title: Italy churches empty both for death and celebration over coronavirus Easter
- Date: 10th April 2020
- Summary: CATANIA, ITALY (APRIL 10, 2020) (REUTERS) SIRENS SOUNDING IN FIREBRIGADE STATION AS FIREMEN STAND TO ATTENTION NEXT TO HEARSE CARRYING COFFIN OF THEIR DEAD TEAM MEMBER WOMAN WEARING MASK STANDING OUTSIDE THE DOOR OF THE FIREBRIGADE STATION PAYING RESPECTS MEN IN WHITE PROTECTIVE SUITS AND FIREMEN WATCH AS PRIEST BLESSES COFFIN MAN IN MASK STANDS OUTSIDE DOOR OF FIREBRIGADE STATION FIREMAN IN MASK STANDING IN SILENCE FIREMEN APPLAUDING AS THEY STAND NEXT TO HEARSE FIREMAN STANDING WITH MASK PEOPLE WEARING MASKS HOLDING HANDS AND WALKING AWAY HEARSE LEAVING FIREBRIGADE STATION CATANIA, ITALY (APRIL 9, 2020) (REUTERS) PICTURES DRAWN BY CHILDREN/ PICTURE WITH WORDS 'HAPPY EASTER' FATHER FABIO VASSALLO ATTACHING PICTURES TO CHURCH PEWS PICTURE READING "DISTANT BUT UNITED" NUNS WEARING MASKS LOOKING AT PICTURES WITH PRIEST (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) FATHER FABIO VASSALLO SAYING: "Holding the ceremony and looking at the empty pews saddened our hearts so we organised that the children were present through their art that represents Easter in the time of coronavirus." PRIESTS ARRIVING IN EMPTY CHURCH NUN WEARING MASK PRAYING VARIOUS OF MASS BEING LIVE STREAMED ROME, ITALY (APRIL 10, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF POLICEMEN ON HORSEBACK STOPPING MAN IN PIAZZA DEL POPOLO
- Keywords: COVID-19 Easter Mass church coronavirus funeral lockdown quarantine
- Reuters ID: LVA001C8WQ3IF
- Location: CATANIA AND ROME, ITALY
- City: CATANIA AND ROME, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Duration: 00:03:07
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Sirens sounded in Catania, Sicily on Friday (April 10) as the fire brigade said goodbye to Giuseppe Coco, one of the members of their firefighting team who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The 51-year-old was the third fireman to die from the coronavirus in Italy.
A church service was not possible during strict lockdown regulations. Instead a hearse carrying the coffin of Coco entered the firebrigade station to a round of applause as a sign of respect for their fallen comrade. Other people, wearing masks, gathered silently outside to pay their last respects.
Men in white protective suits stood next to the hearse as the priest blessed the coffin before the hearse drove away to the cemetery.
Churches are not only closed for funerals but also celebration.
At the Santa Maria Ausiliatrice and San Domenico church in Catania the local priest has asked children to draw pictures that he has pinned to the pews to liven things up.
"Holding the ceremony and looking at the empty pews saddened our hearts so we organised that the children were present through their art that represents Easter in the time of coronavirus," said Father Fabio Vassallo.
Father Fabio now live streams his ceremony and will do so until the lockdown ends.
Tight controls are in place across Italy to stop any movement over the Easter weekend. Police on horseback in Rome's central Piazza del Popolo were checking paperwork of people they found out on the street. Roadblocks are also in place on major roads.
(Production: Antonio Parrinello, Gabriele Pileri and Eleanor Biles)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Embargoed:24th April 2020 13:21
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