Easter Sunday is usually a time of worship and family togetherness for Christians, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, this Easter will be markedly different, with most worshippers celebrating the holiday alone or only with their immediate households.
In Italy, where almost 90 percent of the population is Catholic and COVID-19 has infected more than 135,000 people and caused over 17,000 deaths, Easter will not receive its usual fanfare.
To remedy this, opera icon Andrea Bocelli hopes to bring some comfort and peace to his compatriots, particularly in the hard-hit northern region of the European country.
Bocelli, along with organist Emanuele Vianelli, will perform several religious songs in the Duomo Cathedral in Milan on Sunday. Though the Duomo will be empty with the exception of the musicians, the performance will be livestreamed on Bocelli’s YouTube account at 1 p.m. ET.
In a statement, Bocelli said “I’m honoured and happy to answer ‘Si’ to the invitation of the City and the Duomo of Milan,” reports Reuters.
“I believe in the strength of praying together; I believe in the Christian Easter, a universal symbol of rebirth that everyone – whether they are believers or not – truly needs right now,” shared the tenor. “Thanks to music, streamed live, bringing together millions of clasped hands everywhere in the world, we will hug this wounded Earth’s pulsing heart,” he added.