Easter around the world

Millions of Christians around the world are marking Easter this weekend with religious ceremonies, re-enactments or simply by seeing friends and family.

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Pope Francis gives Easter Sunday vigil service

Pope Francis has given his Easter Sunday vigil service inside St Peter's Basilica.

The Pope presides over a shorter than usual vigil service. Credit: Reuters

"Often we are tired, disappointed and sad. We feel weighed down by our sins. We think that we won't be able to cope. Let us not close our hearts, let us not lose faith, let us never give up," he said.

"There are no situations which God cannot change, there is no sin which he cannot forgive if only we open ourselves to him."

Pope Francis began by saying: "Brothers and sisters, good evening." Credit: Reuters
Inside the Basilica. Credit: Reuters
The Pope performs a baptism. Credit: Reuters

Queen to attend Windsor Castle Easter Sunday service

The Queen seen leaving Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford following the Royal Maundy service on Thursday. Credit: PA

The Queen will attend the traditional Easter Sunday service at Windsor Castle today.

She will be joined by other members of the Royal Family for the Matins service at St George's Chapel, to be conducted by the Dean of Windsor, the Right Rev David Conner.

Well-wishers are expected to gather at Windsor to catch a glimpse of the Queen as she makes the short journey to the chapel.

The Prince of Wales does not usually attend the service, and it is not thought that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend.

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Archbishop of York leads public baptisms in a pool

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu has led Easter baptisms in a pool on the steps of York Minster.

Dr John Sentamu waves to the crowd at St Michael le Belfrey Church. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire/Press Association Images
The Archbishop of York baptises a woman on Saturday. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Dr John Sentamu leads another Easter baptism in York. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Archbishop of Westminster hails Easter 'triumph'

The Archbishop of Westminster quoted recently-elected Pope Francis. Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Archbishop of Westminster has hailed Easter as a "triumph of light over darkness and life over death".

In his Easter Vigil at Westminster Cathedral, the Catholic leader of England and Wales called for for believers to live their faith with a "young heart".

Vincent Nichols said: "This week, Pope Francis spoke of its reality in these words: 'Look around - how many wounds are inflicted upon humanity by evil.

"Wars, violence, economic conflicts that hit the weakest, greed for money which none of us can take with us.'

"We know how those habits become actions, acts which we regret yet often repeat. All of this comes under the uncomfortable word 'sin'.

"All of this is overcome in the victory of Christ."

In pictures: Westminster Cathedral's Easter vigil mass

An Easter vigil mass is taking place at Westminster Cathedral as worshippers prepare for Easter Sunday.

Clergy light the Paschal candle during the Easter vigil mass at Westminster Cathedral Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Worshippers gather at Westminster Cathedral ahead of Easter Sunday. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
The Paschal candle is carried during the mass. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Pope Francis leads Catholics into Easter for first time

Pope Francis urged those who have strayed from the faith to allow God back into their lives as he led world's 1.2 billion Catholics into Easter for the first time.

Pope Francis presides at a solemn Easter vigil mass. Credit: EBU

Francis, who was elected as pope earlier this month, presided at a solemn Easter vigil mass at St. Peter's Basilica to lead the Roman Catholic Church into Easter Sunday.

Pope Francis took the mass at St. Peter's Basilica. Credit: EBU

The 76-year-old Francis delivered a simple homily recounting the Bible story of the women who went to Jesus' tomb but were surprised to find it empty.

Some 10,000 faithful lit candles as Francis walked up the main aisle of the basilica. Credit: EBU

Some 10,000 faithful lit candles as Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, walked up the main aisle, and then the basilica's lights were turned on.

The pontiff baptised many faithful during the Easter mass. Credit: EBU

Pope Francis urged his listeners not to be "afraid of God's surprises", never to lose confidence during the trials and tribulations of daily life, and, if they have strayed, to let God back into their lives.

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