Vatican releases pope’s Christmas season schedule

Pope Francis kisses a figurine of the baby Jesus as he visits the Nativity scene at the conclusion of Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 24, 2018. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis’ 2019-20 Christmas season celebrations will include the usual liturgies and traditions.

Releasing the pope’s schedule Dec. 12, the Vatican said he would:

— Celebrate Christmas Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at 9:30 p.m. Dec. 24.

— Address the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square and give his blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world) at noon on Christmas Day.

— Celebrate evening prayer Dec. 31 in St. Peter’s Basilica at 5 p.m. and lead the singing of the “Te Deum” to thank God for the year that is ending.

— Celebrate Mass at 10 a.m. Jan. 1, the feast of Mary, Mother of God, and the World Day of Prayer for Peace, in St. Peter’s Basilica.

— Celebrate the feast of the Epiphany Jan. 6 with a Mass at 10 a.m. in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Vatican website also has on its schedule that Pope Francis will celebrate Mass in the Sistine Chapel and baptize newborns Jan. 12, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

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