Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic World News News Feature

Stage set for Cologne World Youth Day August 13, 2005

The official opening ceremonies for the 20th World Youth Day in Germany will be on August 16.

After morning prayer in parishes throughout the three cities that are hosting WYD pilgrims (Bonn and Dusseldorf as well as Cologne), participants will take part in a youth festival. In the afternoon, Mass will be celebrated simultaneously in the three host cities, formally opening the event. The celebrants will be Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne; Cardinal Karl Lehmann, the president of the German bishops' conference; and Bishop Franz-Josef Bode, the director of youth work for the German bishops.

For three days, August 17- 19, there will be dozens of catechetical sessions, led by bishops from all over the world. These teaching sessions will be held in the mornings, continuing until just afternoon. The afternoons will see musical performances and recreational activities, along with prayer meetings. Participants will be encouraged to make use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and to visit the relics of the Magi, which will be on display in the Cologne cathedral.

Pope Benedict XVI will arrive in Cologne, and hold his first meeting with young participants, on August 18. He will address the crowd for the first time from a boat on the Rhine, then make his own personal pilgrimage to venerate the relics of the Magi.

On August 19, the main event will be the Stations of the Cross. But unlike previous WYD sites, the Cologne observance will have several different places to commemorate Christ's Passion.

Saturday, August 20, will see the massive movement of young pilgrims from their temporary lodging in the three host cities to Marienfeld (the German name means "Mary's field"), a large park outside Cologne, for a final prayer vigil and overnight encampment. In recognition of the Year of the Eucharist, the prayer vigil will end with silent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Pope Benedict XVI will preside at the final Mass on Sunday, August 21, bringing the WYD ceremonies to an end. During that ceremony, the Pope will deliver the first symbolic copies of the new Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He will also announce the location selected for the next World Youth Day ceremonies, to be held in 2007 or 2008. Sydney, Australia, is the heavy favorite.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle 5 hours ago
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed 5 hours ago
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? 10 hours ago
The Complexity of Reforming Religious Communities December 17
Speaking Softly to Women Religious December 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17