How to Watch Pope Francis's Easter Message—Stream Sunday Mass Online

Easter Sunday is the most important date in the Christian calendar and commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his crucifixion at Calvary nearly 2,000 years ago. For over two billion Christians around the world, the day is a time for joy and celebration and this Sunday many will turn to Pope Francis for a special service to mark the occasion.

Following two years of social distancing, virtual sermons and drastically reduced congregations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pope will once again be celebrating Easter Sunday before crowds in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, Rome.

How to watch online

This Sunday, April 17, Pope Francis is scheduled to celebrate Easter morning Mass in St Peter's Square at 10:00am CEST/ 4:00am ET. This will be followed by the Pope's 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World), a traditional blessing addressing Christians around the globe, at 12:00pm CEST/ 6:00am ET. Both events will be shown on the Vatican's website and the Vatican News Youtube Channel and broadcast on the CatholicTV Network.

The 'Urbi et Orbi' is often used to reflect on global issues and in recent years the Pope has touched on the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic, war and conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine and the plight of migrants and refugees around the world. Many will expect this year's blessing to once again focus on the victims of war and the need for worldwide peace.

On April 10, the Pope celebrated Palm Sunday Mass and used the occasion to call for an "Easter truce" in Ukraine.

During his homily the Pope lamented the futility of war, stating "Christ is once more nailed to the Cross in mothers who mourn the unjust death of husbands and sons. He is crucified in refugees who flee from bombs with children in their arms. He is crucified in the elderly left alone to die; in young people deprived of a future; in soldiers sent to kill their brothers and sisters."

At the end of Mass the Pope urged "Let the weapons be put down! Let the Easter truce begin," and, in a poignant moment, asked "What victory is there in planting a flag on a pile of rubble?."

Notably, the crowd of over 50,000 people in St. Peter's Square was the largest gathering seen in Vatican City since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and the event marked a return of the large public celebrations usually associated with Holy Week.

Alternative Easter Sunday Services

If a 4:00am start sounds impossible, there are several U.S. churches that will be streaming their Easter Sunday services.

Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. will be livestreaming Easter mass on it's website and YouTube channel at 11:15am ET.

Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago will livestream its Easter Sunday service on YouTube and Facebook at 10:30am CT.

Grace Cathedral in San Francisco will livestream Easter Choral Eucharist with Brass and Timpani at 11:00am PT and will host Vesper Light Easter Eucharist via Zoom at 6:00pm PT.

If you miss any of the live streams, video's will likely be archived for you to watch and enjoy later.

Pope Francis blesses palms in Vatican City
Pope Francis blesses palms during the Sunday Palm Mass at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, Vatican in 2022. Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week which concludes on Holy Saturday and is immediately followed by Easter Sunday. Franco Origlia/Getty Images