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Pope plans full liturgical schedule for Holy Week, Easter

Catholic World News - March 27, 2012

The Vatican has released the full schedule of liturgical events at which Pope Benedict XVI will preside during Holy Week and Easter.

Although he will be approaching his 85th birthday, and will have recently returned from a trip to Mexico and Cuba, the Holy Father still plans to complete his usual demanding liturgical schedule.

On Palm Sunday, April 1, Pope Benedict will preside at the blessing of palms, followed by Mass in St. Peter’s Square and World Youth Day ceremonies. The Vatican announcement does not indicate whether the Pontiff plans to join in the traditional procession into St. Peter’s Square; his arthritis knees may force him to opt out of that event.

On Holy Thursday, April 5, the Pope will concelebrate the Chrism Mass in the Vatican basilica with the cardinals, bishops, and priests in Rome. Later in the day he will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the basilica of St. John Lateran.

On Good Friday the Pope will preside at the reading of the Passion, adoration of the Cross, and Communion in the Vatican basilica. In the evening he will travel across town to the Roman Coliseum for the Stations of the Cross.

On Holy Saturday the Pope will lead the Easter Vigil liturgy in the Vatican basilica, then return on Easter morning to celebrate Mass there again. He will then appear at the loggia of the basilica to deliver his Urbi et Orbi message.

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