MONTREAL -- The closure of public places where large groups gather to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Quebec prompted the Archbishop of Montreal, Monsignor Christian Lépine, to celebrate a Mass of Solidarity on camera and broadcast it online Sunday morning.

The mass took place in the crypt of Saint Joseph's Oratory on Mount Royal without congregants since the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Quebec cancelled all masses in churches.

The very special mass ran live on the Saint-Joseph Oratory website.

In a press release issued before the celebration, Archbishop Lépine declared that the objective is "to offer spiritual support to the thousands of Catholics who wish to live their Sunday prayer time despite the circumstances (...) and that all may be supported in these difficult times."

The rector of Saint Joseph's Oratory, Father Claude Grou, was also visibly happy to welcome Archbishop Christian Lépine to Saint Joseph's Oratory for the Eucharistic celebration.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Mar. 15, 2020.