One million-plus watch Cathedral Easter liturgies

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Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP is seen live on national television as he celebrates Easter Sunday Mass in St Mary’s cathedral. The Mass was livestreamed and broadcast live across Australian by commercial television station Channel 7. Photo: Peter Rosengren

More than one million people across the country watched the Good Friday and Easter Sunday services live from St Mary’s Cathedral last weekend.

In a 7News special, the network streamed both broadcasts nationally on Channel 7 and on Prime 7 in regional areas and live-streamed on 7 Plus, winning both timeslots nationally.

The Passion of Our Lord on Good Friday reached 545,000 broadcast viewers with an additional 86,000 live-streaming and social media viewers reaching a total audience of 631,000, 42.4 per cent of the available audience.

Massive audience shares

The Easter Sunday 10.30am Mass reached a whopping 568,000 broadcast viewers with a further 113,000 live-streaming and social media viewers reaching a total of 681,000 viewers – attracting a 46.3 per cent audience share.

Overwhelmingly, the audiences were highest in the Sydney metropolitan area, followed by NSW, the ACT, Western Australia and Queensland.

Director of Communications and News Media for the Archdiocese of Sydney Anita Quigley said she was extremely pleased with the response from viewers from across the country while thanking 7News for recognising the importance for the faithful to be able to participate in the Good Friday and Easter Sunday services.

Seated at home, a young man watches Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP celebrate Easter Sunday Mass live on television. Photo: Peter Rosengren

Archdiocese delighted by response

“The fact we reached more than one million people across Australia was fantastic,” she said.

“We embarked on this partnership with the Seven Network to reach as many Catholics as possible across the nation in the easiest way possible and these figures show we have done just that.

“While so many people have embraced the live-streaming of Masses from our parishes and cathedrals in recent weeks, and will continue to do so while our churches remain closed, we also knew there were people we weren’t reaching – particularly the elderly and isolated and we wanted to ensure they could participate.

A Sydney family watches Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP celebrate Easter Sunday Mass broadcast live from St Mary’s Cathedral by Channel 7. Photo: Peter Rosengren

Positive, grateful responses characterise national feedback

“The feedback I have received from people right across the country – from regional Western Australia to far North Queensland and country NSW – is that they are so grateful that they could watch the Passion of Our Lord on Good Friday and the Easter Sunday Mass either alone or gathered around the television with their family. The response has been truly touching.

The feedback I have received from people right across the country – from regional Western Australia to far North Queensland and country NSW – is that they are so grateful that they could watch the Passion of Our Lord on Good Friday and the Easter Sunday Mass either alone or gathered around the television with their family

“I would like to thank the Seven Network and, in particular, Seven’s Director of News Jason Morrison for his commitment and support.”

Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher OP, who celebrated both services, said Catholics across Australia were extremely grateful to the Seven Network for making the national broadcasts possible.

Archbishop welcomes audience response

“Easter is our holiest celebration of the year an during the COVID-19 pandemic we sadly have not been able to gather physically while our churches have been closed to public Masses,” he said.

“These national TV broadcasts have therefore ensured that well over a million people have been able to come together to maintain our life of prayer and worship at such a special time for us Catholics.”

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Easter Mass from St Mary’s Cathedral

Easter message from Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP