In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pope Francis will offer an extraordinary blessing of Urbi et Orbi on Friday, March 27, 2020, at 1 PM Eastern Time (6 p.m. Rome time).
All those who are present for the blessing via TV, radio or the internet, and who are truly sorry for their sins, can have the possibility of receiving a plenary indulgence.
The Urbi et Orbi blessing (which means “to the city of Rome and to the world”) is performed from the balcony to St. Peter’s Square when a new pope is elected and on Christmas and Easter Sunday. On this occasion, St. Peter’s Square will be empty as Italy is in lockdown because of coronavirus.
Vatican News reports that the ceremony will: “Consist in readings from the Scriptures, prayers of supplication, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; and will conclude with Pope Francis giving the Urbi et orbi blessing.”