Pandemic Religion: A Digital Archive

Collected Item: “Lent in the Time of Pandemic”


Lent in the Time of Pandemic

Narrative or description

I am Roman Catholic. Lent, the time of penance leading up to Easter, is the most solemn time of the year. For me, it is also a time of extra reflection on the mysteries of Christ's life and death, while continuing to live in the hope of the resurrection. This year, Lent was broken in half by the sudden imposition of "stay-home" orders that prevented us from going to work, going out to eat, going to mass, or enjoying most recreational activities, such as movies, plays, or concerts. I missed all of these communal activities. Soon it became clear, though, that we all were in this together. Shocking and unbelievable though it was, the whole world had shut down. On March 27, 2020, Pope Francis held a special service at the Vatican to ask God to end the plague and to give a blessing so we had the strength to endure what was coming. This haunting image of him alone in St. Peter's Square reflects to me the melancholy feeling of the time. It was as if the whole world was experiencing Lent together.





Denomination or tradition

Roman Catholic

State or territory




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