The door is open for Palm Sunday in Jerusalem

The mood was celebratory as scores of Roman Catholics passed through the huge wooden doors of the church that is the global focus of the most important festival in the Christian calendar.

"Last year was a terrible Easter, without people, closed doors. This year is much better, the door is open, we don't have a lot of people but we feel more hopeful that things will become better," the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, told Reuters as he emerged from the church flanked by clerics and worshippers carrying palm fronds.

"The message of Easter is life and love, despite all the signs of death, corona, pandemic, whatever, we believe in the power of love and life," Pizzaballa said.