VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis said he will give an extraordinary blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world) at 6 p.m. Rome time March 27 (12 noon CST).
The formal blessing — usually given only immediately after a new pope’s election and on Christmas and Easter — carries with it a plenary indulgence for all who follow by television, internet or radio, are sorry for their sins, recite a few prescribed prayers, and promise to go to Confession and to receive the Eucharist as soon as possible.
The prayer and blessing will be broadcast live on the Vatican News website at https://www.vaticannews.va/en.html
The blessing will be broadcast on EWTN live at noon [N.B. 5pm in the UK, Ireland and Portugal] and again at 6pm then rebroadcast at 7 p.m. Friday and 4 a.m. Saturday.
The conditions for receiving a plenary indulgence are (Cf. The Gift of the Indulgence, by the Apostolic Penitentiary):
- having the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;
- having sacramentally confessed sins;
- receiving the Holy Eucharist (it is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required);
- prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.
*During these times of lockdown and quarantine, the Vatican has determined that the 2nd and 3rd of those conditions can be fulfilled when it becomes again possible.